As I am getting ready for work each morning, it is common practice for me to check the outside temperature on my phone. The answer helps me decide what clothes to wear and whether or not I need to adorn a hat and scarf.
Yesterday morning, the number made me shiver far before I stepped out the door: 18 degrees below zero. The high was not much more encouraging, as it was barely expected to break even.
Once my long-sleeved shirt was ironed, I started wrapping my scarf around my neck, being careful to make sure there was no exposed skin. I buttoned the three buttons on my coat and added my "floppy hat" for good measure.
It should be noted that this very warm, very blue ensemble came courtesy of my sister and brother-in-law over the last two winters.
Bundled up and ready to take on the world, I ventured outdoors. Neither my exterior door nor my garage door seemed to want to open any more than I wanted to be outside.
After a few minutes of letting my Buick, "Nadine Jr.," warm up, I headed to work.
Looking into the sky, I noticed not only how blue it was, but how bright the sun was. Other than the white stuff everywhere, it looked a lot like summer.
Considering it felt nothing like summer, spring or even fall, I thought it was inappropriate for the sun to be shining so bright.
Talk about adding insult to injury.
Actually, the insults came later when I walked past the management meeting wearing my getup.
"What do you think this is, Alaska?" an anonymous manager asked to a chorus of laughter.
I not only explained that it certainly feels like Alaska, but also shared the importance of covering one's head and neck to keep heat in -- and the difference of warmth those simple actions make.
Their comments inspired me to compare Spencer to Anchorage. Just like I thought, the temperature was higher, with a heat wave of 30 degrees planned for the weekend.
By contrast, Spencer is expecting a high of 16 this weekend.
Though it will be cold outside, it is expected to be quite heated inside the Spencer City Council Chambers for Eggs and Issues starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, featuring legislators from both sides of the aisle, as well as a projected standing-room-only crowd.
In a winter weather preview, State Climatologist Harry Hillaker explained that La Niņa weather patterns typically bring more variability in weather.
That seems to be the case thus far and the extended forecast also falls in line with that prediction.
Next weekend looks a bit brighter and warmer, with temperatures climbing into the high 20s: perfect temperatures for the University of Okoboji Winter Games.
Whether you get out to talk to legislators this weekend or get active on the ice and in the snow next weekend, please take this advice.
Protect your noggin.