Coldstice (KOLD-stis) (n): “The annual day, in a given location, when the historical, average ambient temperatures are at their lowest point in the year’s cycle.”
Okay, I just made that up. A Google search for “coldstice” returns almost nothing. But it should be a real thing– and, for those living with minimal heat in a northern clime, a thing to celebrate. When is the Coldstice for Portland, Maine? I investigated. It proved easy to identify the week: by sorting day-by-day through the city’s historical average high and low temps, I found that they both bottomed out flat (at 30ºF and 12ºF, respectively) from Jan. 15th to Jan 23. On either side of that week, average temps are just a smidge (1º) higher.
What day in the 1/15-1/23 week to identify as THE Coldstice, though, is less clear. Picking 1/19 would be reasonable, as it has the coldest record-low among those days (-26ºF/-32C). On the other hand, February 16th has a much colder record low (-39F/-39C!!), though on average that is a much warmer day than any day in January. So it’s unclear. Perhaps the entire week starting January 15 should be celebrated. There could be presents every night! And a piñata. And saunas.
In any case, if average history provides any predictive power, it’s all warmer after tomorrow. We’ll have made it over the hump, furnace-free and not really a bit the worse for it. It’s 55º in the kitchen at the moment.