degrees of cold

"When your nose begins to feel prickly inside, you know it's below 15," Peter told me.  "Below zero, of course." The moisture in your nostrils freezes.  At -20, Peter's clothing crackles.  Uwe said that once he stood still for ten minutes watching a weather balloon launch in air 40 below and his cheeks developed white frostbite spots the size of 5 kronor coins.  That's roughly the size of a quarter.   He admitted that he forgot to move around.

Temperatures in Kiruna are starting to dip below -28 C at night.  Last night I walked through the woods for 15 minutes and my eyelashes gathered a rime of frost that looked like the beginning to a good Halloween costume.  With the full moon nearly upon us, it is light enough without low clouds to venture out at any time of night.  The moon will not touch the horizon for at least another week.

photograph taken at IRF yesterday around 2:30 p.m.


  1. hello laura - that's so true - that you feel the inside of your nose begin to feel prickly. we've had windchills of minus twenty nine the last few days and the moment you start out for a walk you feel your clothing tighten and crackle just as you described! the snow makes very different sounds when you walk on it at different temperatures also. stay warm! steven


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