Articles for February 2014

Houston 2013 / 2014 Winter Weather Facts

cold-puppyDecember 2013

Average high temperature: 65
Average low temperature: 47
Warmest ever: 84
Coldest ever: 9
Average precipitation: 3.78 in

December 2013 had 18 days with lower than average high temperatures  There were 22 days with below average low temps. Fifteen of those were consecutive (December 5, 2013 to December 19, 2013) with cooler than average low temperatures. The coldest temperature was 32 degrees. The month of December had the largest fraction of cooler than average days in 2013 with 68% days having lower than average low temperatures.

January 2014

Average high temperature: 63
Average low temperature: 45
Warmest ever: 85
Coldest ever: 10
Average precipitation: 4.25 in.

January 2014 had 12 days with below average high temperatures. There were 22 days with below average low temps. The coldest was 25 degrees, with 6 days in January falling below 32 degrees.

Carbon Monoxide Kills

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning.  We haven’t seen tons in the Houston area, but even one is too much. According to the CDC, there are several things you can do to stay safe.

carbon monoxide

  • Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless and can lead to death by suffocation.
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit outside; away from doors, window and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
  • The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
  • If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.
  • Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.

The trend with building tighter and tighter homes in the interest of energy efficiency is also a part of the problem.  As the homes are built tighter, air flow is restricted.  Without adequate air flow, all the gasses stay in the house.  A good HVAC plan will ensure adequate airflow and reduce the chance of accidental carbon monoxide poisonings.

Winter Weather Trivia

winter dog w hatThe winter of 2013 / 2014 has NOT been a record winter. When the final monthly statistics come out, January in the U.S. won’t be near record cold.

This crazy weather is not just a U.S. thing. Parts of South America and Australia have had much warmer than normal weather this winter. Parts of Europe have been cold and stormy, others record warm. For much of January, Greenland was 8 degrees warmer than norm. Hey, let’s go to Greenland!!

The Winter of 1779-1780 was so cold that ice was piled 20 feet high along the Delmarva Coast and stayed there until spring. The upper portion of the Chesapeake Bay and the entire Potomac River was frozen solid. People were able to walk from Annapolis to Kent Island and from Alexandria into DC.

Lowest world temperature: -128.6°F / -89.6°C, Vostok Station, Antarctica, 21 July 1983–without windchill.

Lowest world temperature in inhabited area: -90.4° F / -68° C, Oymyakon, Siberia (pop. 4,000), 6 February, 1933 and also at Verkhoyansk, Siberia, 3 January, 1885.

Lowest USA temperature: -79.8° F / -62.1° C, Prospect Creek, Alaska, 23 January, 1971.

Lowest USA (48 contiguous states) temperature: -69.7° F / -56.5° C, Rogers Pass, Montana, 20 January, 1954.

Ice Bar – London

There is not much you can do to avoid the cold today in Houston.  Take a look at this bar in London where people SEEK out these temperatures to enjoy a quirky, fun (?) night out.

Hmm…maybe we could save some energy this summer and supplement the air conditioning with an ice couch?