How to survive minus 50c: a villager's tale

Simon Lundmark recorded a temperature of -49.9 degrees Celsius in Båtsjaur. Beyond that, the thermometer refused to measure "Then it calls it a day," he says.
Simon Lundmark recorded a temperature of -49.9 degrees Celsius in Båtsjaur. Beyond that, the thermometer refused to measure "Then it calls it a day," he says.

Simon Lundmark in Båtsjaur, just outside Arjeplog, has experienced some exceptionally cold days. "At first I was always checking the thermometer to see how cold it got, but it's 'old news' now."

Arjeplog 4 januari 2024 19:20

And it's cold. The thermometer approached -50 degrees Celsius in the evening, and he thinks it may have even exceeded that, but it can't handle the pressure.

– The thermometer can't handle it. It says 'LL' and probably only goes down to 49.9 degrees below freezing and then it stops. I think I need to buy a stronger one, he says.

When Norran visited Clas Ohlson in downtown Skellefteå on Thursday, an employee mentioned that their thermometers don't read temperatures below -50 degrees Celsius.

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The thermometer still showed "LL" at 06:52 on Thursday morning. By ten o'clock, it was -46 degrees Celsius in Båtsjaur.

Simon Lundmark's thermometer showed "LL" again around six o'clock on Thursday morning, just as it had on Wednesday morning. He says it switched to LL mode around 11 p.m. Wednesday night after resting at -49.9 degrees Celsius earlier.

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It was 49.9 below freezing in Båtsjaur outside Arjeplog. Shortly after, the device only read "LL".

– Now it's -46 degrees he says around ten o'clock on Thursday morning.

Aren't you curious about how cold it really was last night?

– Of course I'm curious, but there's not much I can do about it. I'm not going to jump in the car and buy a new one, but maybe it's something to consider for next year and the next cold snap.

He says it's not unusual for them to have temperatures below -40 degrees, but it's never been this cold. His partner, Ida Laestander, who is from the area, has never seen it this cold either.

– It's not usually this low and certainly not this many nights in a row. And there is usually a cold snap, but it usually comes at the end of January and February, he says.

He says that so far, everything is working well and there are no problems or concerns due to the cold.

– The cold is dry, so it's completely quiet, and it's very nice outside. It's quiet and calm.

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Simon Lundmark recorded a temperature of -49.9 degrees Celsius in Båtsjaur. Beyond that, the thermometer refused to measure "Then it calls it a day," he says.

They have also not been affected by the power outage that occurred earlier in Arjeplog.

– The only thing being used up is firewood. We use supplemental heating, but otherwise there are no problems. We have food and are not completely stranded, but it takes planning, he says.

– It's 35 kilometers to the store in Arjeplog.

Inside his house, the temperature is 22 to 25 degrees Celsius.

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Deer look for food in the extreme cold in Båtsjaur.

– We have a stove that we light, and we use birch wood, which burns longer and has a higher energy content. That's what's most available here, so it's natural. I think that's what most of the houses here use.

The cars aren't used unless it's an emergency, he continues.

– As long as it's not an emergency, you should stay home. This temperature wears them out terribly.

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A moose with two calves visits Simon Lundmark's farm during the interview.

Meanwhile, a moose and two calves appear in the yard, looking for food.

–They're looking for food and eating the brush around here. They didn't look entirely starved, but it's clear that they're struggling to find food.

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"The moose struggle to find food," says Simon Lundmark about the moose visit in -46 degrees celsius.

They also have a bird feeder in the yard, but he says the birds are conspicuously absent.

– You don't see any birds. I don't know where they are, and I hope they survive, but some may not make it. Nature is hard, he says.


 
 
 
 
 
 
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