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Don't take Johnson City's temperate climate for granted

By Kaitlyn Dahle
On January 22, 2014

Down here in Tennessee, as far as I have been told, it almost never gets down below zero.
The coldest it gets here is the single digits and near zero, which is still pretty cold, but not as cold as it gets in the wild northern tundra where I come from ­- especially this winter.
Northern Illinois is really only known for Chicago.
There are other things up there, like corn and gravel, but those things are boring.
But what everybody knows about Chicago is that during the winter, there are at times apocalyptic snowfall and bone-chilling temperatures that can turn boiling water to snow.
This winter has been a particularly cold one. Over my break, there have been week long stretches of temperatures that dip down into the negative teens.
The absolute coldest it has gotten so far this winter was a  minus 25 degrees night with wind chills down into the minus 40s.
Cold that intense will give anyone with exposed skin frostbite in as little as 10 minutes. If you left a banana outside in that weather, the cold will freeze it so hard, you can hammer a nail into a board with it.
Which means that since I lived down here for the previous five months before break, I was spoiled by the relatively temperate climate in Johnson City.
I'm not sure if anyone else remembers, but a week before finals, temperatures here got up into the lower 70s.
Meanwhile, my hometown was experiencing the first bout of negative temperatures of the winter season.
Being exposed to such lovely weather here before my trek back north for the holidays left me far less prepared for the incoming cold I was about to experience.
A week into break, I experienced my first negative temperature since last winter.
It was minus 10 degrees outside and I was walking with my boyfriend from the train station to the movie theater.
It is a 10-minute walk from the train station to the theater, and when I walked through the door, I had to sit in the first chair I saw and I literally burst into tears. The cold was just too much for me.
Looking back, I think I may have had a touch of hypothermia, because I had to sit bundled up with not only my winter things, but my boyfriend as well, in the theater.
We huddled up together as I continued to shiver for about a half hour into the movie.
Though despite that experience, it was amazing how fast I was able to adjust to the cold.
Probably because my body quickly remembered where it came from because a week later, when the high was a mere 1 degree, I went to the mall with my friends.
Crazy northerners ...
So whenever you are feeling cold, especially on a day like today, remember that it could be worse.

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