When I arrived in September, a number of people warned me that the weather forecast called for a bitter winter this year. At the time, I believed it because we had a chilly September and the temperature dropped quickly enough that the heat was turned on in mid-October. But then the temperatures plateaued and we had a surprisingly warm November. The temperature hovered at 6-8 degrees Celsius (low to mid 40s Fahrenheit). I wore my lined raincoat most of the month and only needed gloves at night. But then the temperature dropped from a high of +8 to a high of -8 from one day to the next last week and winter arrived. Today’s high in Kaunas is -11 degrees Celsius with a windchill factor of -18 — that means it feels like 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Brrrrr!
Out came the winter wear — long underwear, two pair of wool socks, cap, heavier scarf and heavier gloves. I also transitioned to the wool coat. I haven’t yet made the jump to the down coat but if the temps drop much more, it will come out of the closet.
I think that the worst winter weather is when the temperature hovers just above freezing and it rains all the time. The damp cold eats through me. And yes, I know that I continue to live in Seattle despite the fact that this describes its winter weather exactly. I actually prefer the weather to be a bit colder – about -6 Celsius/20 Fahrenheit usually brings a light snow that gets the moisture out of the air. It’s easier to wrap up against the chill of a dry cold and there’s more likely to be sunshine. I do have my fingers crossed that we won’t have the -20 Celsius real temps that are predicted. That’s a bit too cold.