The Lower 48 (also known as the Continental United States) has been in the grip of a polar vortex as of late, and this pocket of polar air has dipped down so far that it’s even affected us here in Florida.
Now, I know people like to poke fun at us for piling on the layers as soon as the thermometer dips below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and that when it drops below 40 we end up looking like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant, but being that we don’t get so many cool or truly cold days here as the rest of the country does and also being that we tend to be so used to warm air and temperatures here, when the temperature does dip below 50 or so, we take our cool and cold weather pretty seriously.
And we’ve had some pretty chilly days here since this polar vortex started diving down into the middle portion of the country. The temperatures have been subzero (Fahrenheit!) in many parts of the Midwest, especially in Chicago (which is, of course, exacerbated by all the wind). Up in northwest Indiana, where an uncle of mine and his wife (my aunt) and their kids (my cousins) live, it is just barely above zero Fahrenheit at the time of this post. Here it’s been much better compared to that part of the country, but it has still been pretty cold by Florida standards. The last few days have seen temperatures stay in the 40s and 50s, even in the daytime, when the average daytime high this time of year is normally around 70. Factor in the wind and it feels even colder. Our heater has been running, especially at night (when it’s dipped down into the 30s), although I’ve been wearing a long-sleeve shirt and workout pants to keep a bit warmer inside. I kid you not, going outside the last few days has been like standing in a refrigerator (which ours is typically kept to around 35-40 degrees or so to keep our food from spoiling). And I’ve pretty much only gone outside to let the dog out, take out the trash, and to go get groceries (which I did on Monday). My February Lady cardigan that I knit a few years ago has been getting a lot of game time lately, although I am wondering if I should knit a new one in a slightly smaller size as this “swingy lace cardigan made to fit a grown-ass woman” seems a little too big on this grown-ass woman. And I did screw up the button holes when I made this one, so it never stays buttoned because the button holes are too big.
This cold blast does seem to be coming to an end, though, at least here in Florida. The warmup will be taking place this weekend and by next week Florida will be back to its mild-ass weird and almost nonexistent winter self.
To those in much colder parts of the country, I do have this to say, in all sincerity: Stay warm, stay safe, and stay positive. It will eventually warm up where you are, too.