On a strange day in Canada, people can hear others talking from 5 km away

From January 17 to February 5, 1947, the Yukon, northwest Canada, went through a cold spell, reaching a low of -64 °C (-84 °C).°F) on the 3rd of February.

Weather observer Gordon Toole Measure the lowest temperature at Snag Airport. The thermometer he used was never lower than -62.2°c (-80°F), which means he had to sign it by marking an extra line. It was too cold for the pens to work, so he had to scratch them on the thermometer with a set of dividers.

At those temperatures, people’s breath turned into a white powder in the air, making a resonating sound as it happened. As fun as this sounds, staying in the weather for more than a few minutes will be so It causes frostbite of exposed skinHypothermia was a huge risk.

One of the strangest effects, noticed by residents of Snag, Yukon, as temperatures were cooler, was that sound began to travel differently. Toll, while taking the temperature at the airport, could see no more than a few meters without a cloud of frost haze interfering with his vision. However, the barking of dogs could be heard in the main village more than 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) away, and the ice that cracked at White River 1.6 kilometers (1 mi) away sounded “cracked and flopped loudly, like gunfire”.

What is the reason for these strange sound effects? Sound does not travel the same way at different temperatures. In addition to moving slower in the cold, sound also travels if you’re close to the ground. When the air near the ground is cold and the air above it is warm, sounds are refracted by the warm air toward the surface. The sound then bounces between the ground and the warm air, traveling along the ground for a much longer distance than at warmer temperatures.

“The temperature inversion caused the sound waves to bend back toward the ground rather than escaping upwards,” David Phillips, chief climatologist at Environment Canada he told the National Post. “People at the airport could clearly hear the dogs barking in the city and the townspeople talking as if they were close instead of 5 kilometers away.” [3 miles] Away.”

Adding to the disorienting effect of hearing conversations from miles away, and the icy haze surrounding them and reducing their vision, people in the city could see clouds of their frozen breath lingering in the air for minutes at a time.

said Toole, according to the website History of Canada.

“Feeling lost was not a concern. As an observer walked along the runway, each breath remained as a small motionless mist behind him at head level. These patches of mist of human breath lingered in the still air for three to four minutes, before fading away Far away. One observer even found such a track that still marked his course when he came back on the same track 15 minutes later.”

If they were lost, of course, they could only whisper that fact and be heard by the search and rescue team several miles down the road.

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