Fun things to do during a Polar Vortex

The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding both of the Earth’s poles. It ALWAYS exists near the poles, but weakens in summer and strengthens in winter. The term “vortex” refers to the counter-clockwise flow of air that helps keep the colder air near the Poles.

Translation: Canada is very, very cold. Very cold. Cold. Cold. Cold. I cannot type cold enough to explain how cold it’s been lately.

As a Canadian, cold weather isn’t something that shocks me. We’re basically groomed to grow up tolerating cold when we live in this country. It comes with the territory… literally. The polar vortex, though… it’s a different kind of cold. This special weather occasion only happens every few years and my, my, my is it ever cold.

Presently, at my house, it’s -39 degrees Celsius(translates to -38 degrees Fahrenheit). Overnight we’re supposed to drop down to -49 degrees Celsius (translates to -56 degrees Fahrenheit). In case I haven’t said it enough yet, it’s really fucking cold right now.

We’ve been dealing with this weather about a week now. Temperatures aren’t supposed to warm until Sunday/Monday of next week, so we have at least four more days until we get tolerable cold (-15 degrees Celsius/5 degrees Fahrenheit). Being well used to this weather at this point, I’ve compiled a list of fun things to do during a polar vortex…

  1. Play a rousing game of ‘will my car start today?’
  2. Play a rousing game of ‘why is my garage door frozen shut?’
  3. Play a rousing game of ‘why is my front door frozen shut?’
  4. Stay inside.
  5. Seriously, going outside is painful. The air… it hurts your face. You get this overwhelming urge to keep your eyes closed because it’s so damn cold, it hurts your eyes.
  6. If you do go outside, watch your eyelashes freeze together and become icicles. Pretend you’re a Yeti and start grunting a lot. Partially out of grumpiness for the cold, partially because it’s hard to do anything but grunt when you’re so cold and struggling to breathe.
  7. Put on your best parka, go outside and flash your hands towards frozen objects whilst singing ‘Let it Go’ at the top of your lungs. If anyone bothers you, tell them you’re practicing for your future as Queen Elsa.
  8. Move to Bermuda.
  9. If moving to Bermuda isn’t an option for you, going for a ride on a polar bear is always fun. Though you’ll have to ensure it’s quick ride as if you’re outside for more than five minutes in this weather, you could very well wind up with frost bite
  10. Drive to Starbucks and get a Frappucino (provided the answer to #1 was yes) because what sounds better than a frozen drink when it’s -39 outside?

If all else fails, complain to the internet about the cold. Because they’ll feel for you.

In the words of the Mighty, Might Covers… “I said BRRRRRR, it’s cold in here”.

44 thoughts on “Fun things to do during a Polar Vortex

  1. Oh boy V I πŸ₯Ά I’m cold just reading this. I gave up the winter snow in 2013 to go live here in sunny paradise SoFlo. I’m a total crybaby when it’s in the 50s so -49 YIKES! Stay warm my friend πŸ’™

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    1. I’m glad that I could give you a chuckle. I try to be light-hearted when it comes to stuff like this. I feel like playing the ice queen from frozen might be fun! hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, maybe I’ll take you on a Canadian adventure one day. Show you the mountains and the snow and the moose and all the goodness. From in a car… where there’s heat so you don’t freeze.

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  2. -39/49C!! Those temperatures are insane. It’s been unusually cold here the last few days (-2/3C), subzero at all is a novelty in the UK these days, and I’ve been loving it. Frosty weather is my absolute favourite weather. But yeah, you’re having antarctic temperatures! It would suck to just be so limited by the weather cos it’s so cold. How does your heating even handle it? Haha we’re at almost the same latitude, but mine is slightly higher.

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    1. I think what’s hardest about this weather is that there are still a lot of homeless people in this city who try to stay outside during the nights. The pandemic has made that worse by the accounts they’re speaking of on the news. People are worried that because of the pandemic, more and more homeless aren’t coming into a shelter. It’s become an all hands on deck mission to help homeless just come inside for the nights. Whether they wind up in a church, or a shelter, or the police station lobby or recreation centres that aren’t open right now due to the pandemic. Wherever they can go, it just matters that we get them inside of a building that has heat.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. See, you have a really big heart :D. You’re depriving the world of it lol.

        They are really staying outside in those temperatures? How is that even possible? You’d think that warmth and shelter would take precedence over pandemic worries at that point, that’s another hard one to comprehend. Here in the UK, at the start of the pandemic the government made a major push to house all the homeless people. Which was an idea that really stung with me! (Because how can it suddenly be possible, but not possible before? πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ).

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      2. So there’s on major shelter in this city and a lot of small ones. The small ones are those which, when they’ve reached capacity, cannot allow anyone else in. For that reason, a lot will wind up at the major one. It used to be a department store that went out of business, the property was foreclosed and some unnamed wealth person bought it and donated it to an organization to run a drop-in shelter. Anyways, this place can house hundreds of people all at one time – which is great, right? It is when there isn’t a pandemic.

        Last October we had a winter blast where temps dipped down to -20 overnight and it was the first really cold weather we’d had since the start of the pandemic. The shelter assured people it was safe to go there and the aftermath of homeless going there through the storm was that it wound up being one of the largest outbreak sites of the pandemic in Alberta, which led to a lot of them needing medical help, which led to a lot more issues because, homeless people really don’t want doctors/nurses/hospital staffers prying into their lives and well-being. You know what I mean? Furthermore, when they got COVID, seeing a doctor and getting medical help would be free for them, but prescriptions wouldn’t be. So… I mean, how can you tell a homeless person to fill a prescription to help themselves get better when the very steroids they prescribe can cost $150 or more?

        Homelessness is a thing for me. Sorry to be rambling on so much about this. A lot of the world writes of homeless people as though they’re lazy or stupid, or both. That’s just not the case.

        I agree with your sentiment that it would’ve stung majorly that it took a pandemic for the government there to even consider helping the homeless.

        However someone wound up homeless, whether they choose to stay homeless or not, no one needs to be outside when it’s this cold. They can (and do) put up with a lot of shit when it comes to living on the streets, but no one should be out on the streets in this weather. That breaks my heart.

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      3. Oh and when I talk about prescriptions for homeless people, we used to have a program in our province that would provide assistance for that, but the Conservative government gutted that program in 2019 when they came into power. The Conservatives are of the belief that if homeless people just worked hard, they wouldn’t be homeless anymore. So you know… typical conservative closed-mindedness.

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      4. No worries, thanks for expanding on it. Thank god for those private wealthy people who fund/donate to these charities.

        I’ve always been disturbed by the idea of homeless people too, since a child, and I make a point of not ignoring them, because it always made me so uncomfortable how there’s this habit of just ignoring them. I volunteered with The Big Issue for a year 10 years ago, and I got to meet and talk to lots of homeless people through that, which was really informative. Before that, when doing a trip in the US I was disturbed by the sight of so many homeless people, especially in Berkeley where there was a park just set aside for them :|. I just hated how brutal capitalistic society is to people who are struggling.

        I totally agree with the sentiment of not judging why people are homelessβ€” the fact is always that nobody wants to become homeless in the first place, and everyone deserves to be helped. When you hear some of the things they’ve been through and survived, it’s mind-boggling.

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  3. I agree with you V, Canadians have been groomed with handling this type of bitter cold. For example; when you live in a mobile trailer you learn to keep a tap running just enough so that water pipes don’t freeze over.
    You know it is bitterly cold when you dog takes less than five minutes to do both chores out in the yard. In good weather my dog loves to go for a walk first, then walk around the yard and sniff everything she can find.
    Yes, it is too cold to even think about exiting your home!

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  4. That is seriously cold. I can remember a period on Long Island when temps were below 0 F for a week or so and when it got back up to the 20’s F, it felt tropical. I imagine you would love to be in the single digits. I have felt some serious cold but not what you have and never for long. I think it must be a bit tedious! Def stay indoors!! Lots of warm drinks.

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    1. It’s funny because when it gets like this, these are the times I most want frappuccinos and ice coffees and ice creams and whatnot. Something about the cold makes me want more cold things.

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  5. I don’t think I’ve ever been in an environment colder than -2Β°C…and I was already freezing my butt off! But man, -39Β°C…even dozens of steaming mugs of tea and coffee don’t seem like they’ll be enough. On the other hand, it’s a mild 21Β°C and snowless in Los Angeles. Stay warm, V!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you ever come to Canada, I’ll take you on a tour to experience true winter. Until then, I’ll dream of being in sunny spots like LA. At the beach. Oh that sounds lovely right now.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d gladly trade you places. I’d promise to walk all of your doggies! Even the after-rain I saw on your Instagram looked very appealing.

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