One week ago, I was in the Provence in France, sitting in shorts with my feet in a lake, and in the evenings, observing a very spectacular night sky (I was staying at the observatory Observatoire de Haute Provence). Yesterday morning, I arrived by the long train ride from Grenoble via Amsterdam back to Kiruna. Fortunately, Swedish trains run fine in -35°C and fortunately, the heating on Swedish trains does, too.
Since then, I have been greeted by arctic phenomenon upon arctic phenomenon.
Yesterday evening, a spectacular auroral display. Rapid fluctuating green and red flashes traveling from horizon to zenith and on to the other horizon within seconds; whenever looking in one direction, I was sure to miss even more spectacular displays in the other direction. Then it suddenly stopped and I could guiltlessly go to bed.
This morning. -42°C. Sundogs with the sun shining through the clouds caused by the town heating facility. Very local; I go down and it's gone.
Then an artificial, man-made one. When it's cold, make some clouds! Twice this morning, once at -39°C and once at -37°C, we made clouds. Get some hot water and pour it down! Video at http://vimeo.com/19964844
And it's cold. Cold. The communication link to the weather station in the swamp 2 km north of my work broke down, but our kitchen thermometer currently indicates -38.7°C. In such temperatures, I rather park my bicycle indoors. Rohloff oil doesn't like those temperatures. Tires don't roll too well. And, worst of all (?), the display of my speedometer completely stops. Well, I know I'm going slowly!
I work outside of town. In town, it's warmer. Considerably so. Currently -29.9°C, but in the afternoon it was -8°C (at work: -25°C; long live the return of the sun at 68.5°N! Spring is coming?!).
I put some pictures at