Fahrenheit? I only know Celsius …

A full year has past since becoming a resident of the USA, and yet, I still think in Celsius. The question of “How hot do Vancouver summer’s get?” often comes up when conversing with the locals. Each time, I casually reply, “It averages in the mid-20s, with occasional heat waves in the low 30s.”. Next, a blank/odd look to my reply always follows. I don’t blame them because I begin to take on a silly face as I stumble to convert Celsius into Fahrenheit.

Although Canada officially uses the Metric system, the Imperial system is used instead for many daily and common uses. In Canada, we use a mix-mash of Metric and Imperial units to keep things interesting.

Application Canada USA
Weather Forecast Metric: Celsius Imperial: Fahrenheit
Gas Station Metric: Litre Imperial: Gallon 1 L = 0.26 gal
Driving Speed Limits Metric: km/h Imperial: miles/h This conversion is relatively easy because the vehicle odometer takes care of it.
Driver’s License:
height and weight
Imperial: ft/in and lb (on license application)
Metric: meters and kg (on DL card)
Imperial: ft/in and lb
Medical Records:
height and weight
Metric: meters and kg Imperial: ft/in and lb 1 m = 3.2 ft
1 kg = 2.2 lb
Groceries: weight Imperial: $ per lb Imperial: $ per lb Produce signs in Canada have the price per pound in large font, and much smaller details for the price per kilograms beneath.
Measurement: length Imperial: ft/in and lb Imperial: ft/in and lb Furniture tags in Canada include both Metric and Imperial measurements.
Recipes: dry ingredients Imperial: tsp and cup Imperial: tsp and cup Strangely, dry ingredients and oven temperatures are denoted using Imperial units, but wet/liquid measurements are referenced in Metric units.
Recipes: wet/liquid ingredients Metric: Litres Imperial: oz 1 L = 33 oz
Recipes: oven temperature Imperial: Fahrenheit Imperial: Fahrenheit

Now to memorizing the common temperature conversions and building Fahrenheit into the vocabulary …

Celsius Fahrenheit
0 C 32 F
15 C 59 F
20 C 68 F
25 C 77 F
30 C 86 F
hot hot weather! approaching triple digits in Fahrenheit
-10 C 14 F
-25 C -13 F

Don’t worry, the temperatures don’t dip below 0 C/32 F in Silicon Valley!
Wikipedia’s article on San Jose, CA states that the lowest temperature ever recorded was -8 C/18 F on January 6, 1884. Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where there is often a week long stretch of -30 C/-22 F temperatures during the winter months, I had to include the cold conversions above 😉


3 responses to “Fahrenheit? I only know Celsius …

  1. Pingback: Happy Canada Day! | Silicon Valley Loonies·

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