Twin Cities Met With Coldest Weather Since 1996

By tomorrow morning, the Twin Cities will be slammed with the coldest weather since 1996. Where I live — in Chanhassen, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis — wind chill values will be as low as -53°F. I’ll be holed up inside for today and tomorrow. I already had to see a doctor last week about possible frostbite on my fingers (I was talking on my cellphone outside without gloves while walking between classes at the University of Minnesota — lesson learned!). I’m not taking any chances this time.

Speaking of the University of Minnesota, my journalism professor informed our class that the University had only closed once due to cold weather in its history, and that was in 1996. I was, therefore, overjoyed when I received an email last night from University President Eric Kaler. In the email, he announced that the Twin Cities campus cancelled classes after noon today and all day tomorrow. (Note: While writing this post, I received another email from President Kaler saying the Twin Cities campus will close after 5 p.m. today through Wednesday [tomorrow] and that classes will resume after noon on Thursday. Even better!)

I thought I needed to document this somewhat historic weather with my camera, but I didn’t want to venture too far outside. So I took this photo of my front yard around 3 p.m. today, when the wind chill was -41°F.

My front yard in Chanhassen, Minnesota, when the wind chill was -41°F

A Sun Dog in Downtown Minneapolis

A cold snap is beginning in the Twin Cities, with a low around -13°F and wind chill values as low as -29°F tonight. It was a little warmer this morning when I saw this sun dog (if you don’t know what they are, read the Wikipedia article).

Close-up of a sun dog in downtown Minneapolis, January 24, 2019, 8:42 a.m.
Sun dog in downtown Minneapolis, January 24, 2019, 8:47 a.m.

Out and About in My Neighborhood

I took some photos today in my neighborhood in Chanhassen, Minnesota. I initially wanted to highlight the fact there’s been barely any snow this January because of the relative warmth and lack of snowfall. But then, when I got back, I realized how nice the photos turned out because of the clear sky. These photos were taken over the course of 13 minutes on a 12°F day.

[UPDATE, 2/10: I changed my Twitter username to @ns1988.] For those interested, I created a Twitter account two days ago. My Twitter username is @pugsounds. Can you guess what famous album that’s a reference to?

Missy and Pugsley on a rug
Most of the snow has melted in our front yard
Pugsley and Missy look out the front door’s window, a favorite pastime
Stop sign for Audubon Road and Valley Ridge Trail South outside my neighborhood
The National Weather Service’s Twin Cities forecast office is literally right outside my neighborhood, with the Doppler radar serving as a sort of landmark that looms high over nearby houses. It’s been a favorite photographic subject of mine since I took a film photography course in high school (that was in the spring of 2007).
A close-up view of the Doppler radar
Technically, this is government property and no trespassing is allowed. When I was young, however, I would often get much closer to the Doppler radar for photos. I’m much more polite now.

My First Photos Taken in Auto Mode With the Canon EOS R

After a month of not using my Canon EOS R, it was refreshing today to use the camera again. I switched from P mode (the default) to Auto — because I wanted to see how the face detection worked — and, man, was I impressed! This camera just takes really, really good photos! It’s definitely the best camera I’ve ever owned. I think I will keep using Auto, unless I don’t like what it’s doing to some particular photo. Then I’d switch to P. I’ve never really used Auto mode with an interchangeable lens camera; but, because Auto has gotten so much better over the years, I think I’ll stick with it. At least for a while.

My dad in the kitchen
Missy on our wood floor
Yup, he’s watching Trump on Fox News