the Twin Cities
is just like any other month in Minnesota, except there aren't
boats or mosquitoes.
mosquitoes on boats... buzzing the lakes for the Winter Carnival
||26 Australia Day
Cities Calendar for January 2012
Vikings v. Bears, H.H.
Humphrey Metrodome (noon, $23+)
|Jan 4, 10, 16, 18,
23, 27, 29
|Jan 10, 21, 31
Makes Music, Sesame Street, Target
Center -- here's the Neighborhood
|Jan 11-Feb 12
The Lion King, Orpheum
Theatre -- here's a preview
|Jan 14-Feb 5
Caesar, Dowling Studio, Guthrie Theater ($24+)
|Jan 14-Feb 26
on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams, Guthrie Theater
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Minneapolis Convention Center ($10) -- added virtual marina exhibit
||cancelled Foreigner Acoustique, State Theatre (cancelled, $44+) -- here's Double Vision -acoustic
||show Healthy Life Expo, Minneapolis Convention Center ($6 or free coupon, 10am-5pm)
Chinese New Year 4710
- year of the dragon
||holiday Australia Day
|Jan 26-Feb 6
Carnival, St. Paul
|Jan 28-March 11
of the Rainbow, Guthrie Theater ($29+)
32 degrees F - water freezes (at sea level)
20 degrees - cloud point of #2 diesel (see below)
10 degrees - road salt (sodium chloride) refreezes
10 below - blood flow to your extremities is
20 below - 10w30 motor oil turns to sludge, road salt (calcium
chloride) refreezes, skin freezes within 5
30 below - 5w30 motor oil turns to sludge
40 below - soap bubbles shatter like glass Christmas ornaments, mercury
freezes in the thermometer, antifreeze freezes; cloud point of #1
diesel (see below)
50 below - skin freezes within a minute, metal turns brittle and snaps
60 below - cold on an unprotected forehead can knock you unconscious in
70 below - skin freezes in seconds, frozen breath hangs in the air
80 below - people's voices can be heard four miles away - it's called
Cold Car Batteries
If the car doesn't start in winter, the culprit could be a failed
starter or a flooded engine, but most likely, it's the car battery.
There are 3 reasons the battery should be the problem.
1. Power Available
- In car battery terminology, it's called Cold Cranking
(CCA), which is the amount of electric current a 12 volt (technically
12.6) car battery can deliver for 30 seconds at zero degrees F while
maintaining a minimum terminal voltage of 7.2 volts. If at 80 degrees,
a car battery has 100% strength, at 32 degrees, it has 65% of its
strength. At zero, it has 40% of its strength. At 32 below, it's down
to a quarter of its strength.
2. Power Needed
- Even though
the battery has less power, it needs more power when the motor oil is
cold. At zero degrees, when the battery has only 40% power, it needs
210% of what it would need at 80 degrees. At minus 32
would need 350% or three and a half times what it needs at 80 degrees.
3. Power Restored
a cold battery is harder to recharge than a warm one. Low temperatures
increase the resistance of electrolytes which both reduces the
battery's cranking power and increases the time it takes for the engine
(through the alternator) to recharge the battery.
It's a wonder that cars work at all.
When the Minnesota lakes freeze,
especially with a steep drop in temperatures, the ice will Boom loud enough to
be heard miles away. The tone and pitch depend upon the size and shape
of the lake basin and the ice thickness.
Diesel Cloud Point - Pour Point
- Cold Flow Plugging Point
Petroleum-based diesel and biodiesel fuel doesn't exactly freeze, but
the paraffin wax in fuel begins to crystallize, giving it a cloudy
appearance, known as the cloud point.
The cloud point of #2 diesel is between 20 and 40º F. The cloud point of #1 diesel is
-40º F. The key to the cloud point is that the fuel filter
starts to clog. Pour
is the point when any liquid doesn't pour. But trucks and school buses
conk out from fuel line clogs prior to reaching the pour point. The
operational threshhold for winter diesel is the Cold
Flow Plugging Point (CFPP) developed by the ASTM,
which measures diesel's ability to flow through a fuel filter. Based on
the CFPP, the location, and the month of the year the fuel is being
sold, diesel fuel is blended to withstand extreme winter temperatures.
In Minnesota, the month & temperatures are October (-4º F), November (-18º F), December (-30º F), January (-34º F), February (-31º F), and March (-24º F). Anti-gel additives are
available for both diesel and biodiesel fuels. Diesel fuel purchased in
September or in Arizona,
without additives, may not get you where you are going in
January in Minnesota.
Ice Thickness --
Minimum Thickness For Going Out On The Ice
Here's a handy Ice
to determine if the ice is thick enough to walk on or drive over. And
every winter these charts are spread all over Minnesota. One problem:
how do you know the thickness of the ice? You would have to break the
ice to measure its thickness. And then you would know the thickness at
the open spot -- it's zero! So now you'll need Ice
Claws to get yourself out of this ice hole.
The lakes aren't the only thing
species of trees crack like a rifle shot, due to being unevenly warmed
by sunlight. Maple trees and other thin barked trees are more
susceptible than aspens, black spruce, and jack pines.
The snow around hardwood trees on sunny days in February can
peppered with tiny black specks that jump!
These are snow fleas! It's true; I'm not making this up. They fall out
of the tree and hop about. Snow fleas aren't fleas. They are
springtails: ancient herbivorous bugs that eat microscopic algae,
bacteria, and fungi. Snow fleas spring off from trees uncontrollably in
the spring. And that's why it's called Spring.