Lately, I’ve been grumbling about the cold. I think we can all agree that 32˚F is cold, cold enough to turn water to a solid (as I write this it’s actually 28˚F degrees on the other side of my office window). But, although it was in the single digits when I awoke from my sleep one week ago today, I must admit that we’re pretty lucky here in the Carolina Piedmont.

Some numbers may help illustrate our fortunate situation. The lowest temperature recorded in North Carolina was -34˚F on January 21, 1985 on Mt. Mitchell. Mt. Mitchell, though, has a climate similar to that of, say, Canada, due to its altitude. A little closer to home, RDU’s (airport) lowest recorded temperature was -9˚F on the same day. That’s still cold, but consider the following.

The lowest temperature ever recorded in North Dakota, and coincidentally Minnesota, was -60˚F on February 15, 1936 for the former and February 2, 1996 for the latter. You don’t want to be caught out in that kind of weather. And, you better have plenty of propane, heating oil, or wood in your tank or wood pile to heat the inside when it gets that cold.

Of course, all of those temperatures are extremes, lowest ever recorded temps. And, right now in Bismarck, ND it’s only about five degrees colder than it is here in Durham, NC. In Grand Rapids MN it’s only about 3 degrees colder than here. But it’s always colder in the winter up there, in both locales, and it stays colder longer.

Nothing against ND or MN, I’m just trying to talk myself out of complaining. After all, next month is February. February is spring. That’s when spring begins. Things start changing rapidly in February. There’s always the possibility of an ice or snow storm in late February or early March (like the one that hit March 7, 2014 stranding me in my house without power for a few days) but those storms are the exception. You can be fairly sure that any storm that hits in March will be short-lived, a day or two later and it’ll all be gone, forgotten.

While we’re on the subject of temperature, I might as well speak to the high temps. Who, out of the three states already mentioned, has the highest recorded temperature? If you said North Carolina, you’re wrong. Both ND and MN have recorded higher temperatures than NC, 121˚F for ND and 114˚F for MN. Here at home, the highest temperature ever recorded was 110˚F on August 21, 1983 in Fayetteville, NC. We’re warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

So, you see, there’s really nothing to complain about.

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