The ice sheet on your roof, permafrost on your lawn and seemingly essential antifreeze in your car represent mere indications of a colder-than-cold winter thus far.
A chilling set of numbers confirms it.
During traditional winters for the past 14 years — each December, January and February — Lawrence has averaged 28 days when the maximum temperature warmed to at least 50 degrees, 6News meteorologist Greg Postel reports.
So far this season, Lawrence has climbed to 18 degrees above freezing just three times:
• 60 degrees Dec. 1.
• 50 degrees Dec. 17.
• 55 degrees Jan. 23.
“I’m surprised it’s been that many,” says Ben Lowe, a landscaper at Kansas University, who’s been donning long johns, wool socks, insulated boots, coveralls, a short-sleeved T-shirt, long-sleeved T-shirt, hoodie, insulated vest, coat, gloves and winter hat since December. “Every day, it’s just gotten colder.”
Then Wednesday, the sun emerged. Mercury climbed into the 40s. Lowe and a coworker, Chris Shaw, climbed into their “cabless” Gator — sort of an always-open convertible — for the first time this winter, heading out to pick up downed tree limbs along Jayhawk Boulevard.
“For three weeks we’ve been chipping snow and shoveling ice, 40 hours a week,” Lowe says, basking in relative warmth.
“This keeps you motivated,” Shaw said.