When Flat Stanlina arrived, she was very excited to explore Chicago, but she was not prepared for the cold weather! All she packed was a very pretty sundress! Great for southern California or Chicago in summertime, but not wintertime! Poor Flat Stanlina was shivering when she came out of her envelope.
“Why is it so cold?” Well, Flat Stanlina, that is a question I ask myself almost every day around this time of year.
Chicago, Illinois is 1746 miles northeast of Los Angeles, California. It would take 29 straight hours to drive (or, four days if you stopped to sleep and eat, which are very important!) or four hours if you flew on an airplane nonstop. Where Chicago is on the Earth is much farther away from the sun, especially during the winter. That is what makes the weather here very different than in Southern California.
In December the trees in Chicago have shed all their leaves. December, January and February are the coldest months of the year. Chicago’s average temperature in December is 37 degrees during the day and 24 at night. (Compare that to Los Angeles, where the average temperature in December is 68 degrees in the day and 47 degrees at night!)
It often snows in Chicago, too. The average snowfall during an entire winter is 38 inches. The sun sets also earlier, around 4:30 PM.
Flat Stanlina said it never snows in Southern California. What a shame.
Chicago is on the shores of one of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan. (It’s called a Great Lake because it’s so big!) The wind from Lake Michigan can be very, very cold. We even have a special word for how cold the wind makes us feel: “wind chill.”
The meterologists (the scientists who predict the weather) on the news tell us the wind chill factor, the temperature outside and whether or not it will snow, ice or rain. This is one of Chicago’s famous meterologists, Tom Skilling, explaining what tools he uses to predict the weather.
For our adventures, Flat Stanlina needed new clothes. I made Flat Stanlina a red coat with matching hat. She needed a scarf to cover her neck, or her nose and mouth if it became very cold and windy. She also needed a pair of gloves for her hands and boots so Flat Stanlina can walk in the snow and ice. I also made her a long pleated skirt and a yellow sweater so she would be warm indoors without her coat. It would be so nice if I could make new clothes for myself this easily!