I witnessed something new today. At least, I'm not aware of seeing it before. I drove out to Mogenstrup for a run followed by a swim. The temperature in the car at one point read -13 C (8 F). I had never seen it that cold in Denmark. The sun was out, but you could hardly see a thing. There was an incredibly thick fog over everything. It wasn't until I started running that I realized what was going on. It was an ice fog. If one looked carefully at the trees and branches, every single water droplet, it seemed, had turned into ice. And this applied to the air as well. It was absolutely gorgeous and I am so angry I didn't have a camera along.
I returned to the pool hall and every strand of my hair, my hat, face, eye lashes, shirt was covered in a delicate, bright white frost.
Why did this happen? Well, I have never had any sort of formal weather education (when I got back and told SR about the "ice fog", he raised an eyebrow in doubt), but here is my understanding: being a coastal area, the climate here is very humid, even in the winter. When the clouds disappeared and the sun came out, there was a simultaneous large drop in temperature and large rise in pressure. The water droplets in the air simply froze. (For people who love chemistry, this is the opposite of sublimation and I can't remember what the opposite is called). For about an hour, there was absolutely no wind. It may be the one and only time I experience no wind in Denmark.
Something strange is going on this year in Denmark. It is the coldest December in recorded history. And, in fact, the entire year has been cold. If one looks at the temperature patterns over the last year, the warming effect of the Gulf Stream on this part of Europe has nearly disappeared. Maybe one could chalk it up to yearly variation, but it concerns me. If the Gulf Stream disappears, a huge change has happened on the planet. I just don't know enough to talk about it intelligently. And maybe it is altogether meaningless and simply random. It also sucks, because it is so much colder to run this year than the past two years.
To give you a little bit more detail, Copenhagen is at the latitude of Juneau, Alaska, but generally has the temperature of Seattle. This is because of the warm Gulf Stream air. That is also why Spain is warmer than Illinois. But this year, we have a lot more in common with Alaska. And when the temperature here is low, it is REALLY cold because it is so humid.
Perhaps I'm saying all of this as an excuse since I don't know if I will even make it through the social marathon we're signed up for on Friday. One highlight, though, is we'll get to run twice through Kastrup Airport in Copenhagen.
Running song of the day: Flyvere i natten by Kim Larsen
Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.
"Children are fascinated by the ordinary and can spend timeless moments watching sunlight play with dust. Their restlessness they learn from you. It is you who are thinking of there when you are here. It is you who thinks of then instead of now. Stop. Let your children become the teachers and you the student" - William Martin