Saturday, June 09, 2007

The year's first heat advisory.

But not the last. I'm not sure how it's done overseas, or up north (feel free to drop me a comment and tell me - I'm weirdly curious about such things), but here, the National Weather Service issues heat advisories on days when the heat and humidity are so bad that they literally fear people will die of it. Normally it's older folks who are at risk, or folks with compromised circulatory systems, but a roaring case of heat stroke isn't all that hard to get in this kind of weather, regardless of age or health. In fact, I wonder if the fitness people who ignore heat advisories are more at risk than the rest of us, just because they think they're too healthy to worry about it.

It's 93 degrees F here (34 C), with a 99F (37 C) heat index when you allow for the 45% humidity. I went to work out this morning, and after, I spent perhaps four minutes cooling down and stretching out. A fellow worker-outer made a polite comment about how I'd live to regret that, and I pointed out that it was like a sauna outside, and promised I'd take the whole cool-down-and-stretch thing more seriously when the temperature dropped below body temperature. She hadn't thought of it, but after I poitned it out, she agreed with a laugh.

Since I have a lot of international readers and one or two of them might find it interesting, here's why it's hotter than a summer in hell here:

The Gulf Stream. (Photo from here. There is a wobbly black X on the coast approximately where I live, that I added to the picture.) I was gonna just say "Bloody damned Gulf Stream is killing us", but it occurred to me that a lot of readers in, say, Asia or Australia would have no real idea what I was talking about. So there's a photo of it for you. The Gulf Stream is a current of warm (hot) water moving north from the tropics, along the coast of North America. It accounts for milder-than-average winters all along the coast, even up into New England and Canada; temperatures will vary widely between coast and inland. But we pay a hell of a price for those mild winters. The same current makes the summers hotter than the tropics can be (depending), and that same warm current drags hurricanes up along the coast every summer. (You can understand just looking at the photo, why hurricances survive so far north in the Atlantic, when they would never survive the cold waters of the Pacific at the same latitude.)

When I lived in Hawaii, which is almost into the tropics, the islands were surrounded by much deeper, much cooler water, and the temperature NEVER got as hot as it is here today; anything much over 80 F (26 C) was considered really warm. (Unless of course you were up a mountain somewhere or in the inland desert on the Big Island.)

Needless to say, I'm dyin'. I've only been out enough to run to the gym and back, and the husbeast is out now because he's a lunatic and hates staying at home. I can't decide if we should let the baby out later for a round in her pool, or not.

Anyway, there's your unneeded meterology lesson for the day. I hope, wherever you are, it's either cooler, or you're in air conditioning.

13 comments:

Emma said...

Oh, do I ever hear you. I'm a Colorado native attending school in Virginia, and we're getting hit by the same heat. (It hasn't made it to 90 yet today, but it's pretty dang close.) AND the dorm air conditioner picked today to break.

Just not fair.

catnurse said...

Up north here in Wisconsin, we also get heat advisories, but they don't usually happen until late July and August, when the temps hit the 90's and the humidity is up there in the 70% - 80% range. Makes good sweet corn though!

Donna Lee said...

Here in New jersey we are very familiar with heat warnings and advisories. We got the heat and humidity this week as well. Ugh, clothes stick and people are all slimy looking-and it's only June.Thankfully, it was only a brief bit and now today it is only in the 80's and is quite delightful.

Bubblesknits said...

I'm sweating it out with you down here in Alabama. We purchased a little pool for the kids, but due to the water restrictions because of the drought, we can't fill it up. Ugh. Got a little rain yesterday, but not enough to lift the water ban. I'd love to move to Canada or Wyoming. LOL

Kris Fletcher said...

"I'd love to move to Canada or Wyoming. LOL"

Sorry to disillusion you, but even Canada gets hot. I grew up in southern Ontario. August was routinely disgusting - heat and humidity to make you gag. Even the Yukon gets ugly in summer. I dated a guy who worked there and he was full of stories of black flies and heat.

I'm in upstate NY now, and yeah - we get it too. Yesterday it was a good 15 - 20 degrees hotter than what was predicted for Orlando. Does that seem remotely right?

In knitting talk - Julie, I have a stupid newbie question. I've heard people talk about taking somethign off the needles to get an accurate idea of the soze. Um - so, how do you do that?

Sheepish Annie said...

Funny...I somehow always pictured Hawaii as being much hotter than it really is. I don't love the high heat and humidity...hate it, in fact. I'm not looking forward to those first few that will soon be coming our way up here. Stay cool!

amy said...

We get heat advisories in RI, too, and ozone alerts--do you get those? When the air quality is so bad that they tell those at-risk groups of people to stay home and the buses are free (no subways here). The ozone alerts often coincide with the high heat & humidity.

It's been raining and cool here all day. Something went awry; earlier this week they were predicting what looked like a wonderful beach day.

Christy said...

As I was raised in the south (SC and GA, almost all my extended family still lives there -- grandparents and aunts and such), I sympathize. When we went back for my brother's wedding, my husband who calls himself a "desert rat" (born in NM, raised in NM, AZ, CA, OR) bought his first ever shorts in his adult life.

But as I live in Colorado now, and never know what to expect with the weather, at least there's a pattern to your weather. I just hope my tomatoes can make it through another hailstorm or three.

Amy Lane said...

ugh... hate heat, hate humidity...and I know they're both around the corner here... (the sun gods were merciful...the last two weeks of school were really mild...) Last year when the whole of North America was under a heat advisory, it got to be about 125 degrees here... ick ick ick ick ick...but do let her play in the pool for just a little bit--make sure the water is cool and her hat is on... a half an hour outside to make her tired and quiet inside is worth it... (and standing ankle deep in the pool is surprisingly refreshing, even for us grown-ups...)

MrsFife said...

Here in India we never get heat advisories, only get them for cyclones and thunderstorms. Heat is expected and there might be lots of programmes and articles about staying cool and avoiding sunstroke, but no, no advisories. It was 45 degrees yesterday in Delhi (Celsius). It can and does get hotter in lots of places around the country.
Sadly, our air conditioner got pulled out by the husband in anticipation of our move (haha) and we also have power cuts. Don't you just love summer?

Bells said...

god that does sound unseasonably hot!! I can kinda remember that heat, as I'm sitting here in socks and woollen gear late at night in the cold....

Laural said...

I'd be all over letting the kidlette play in the indoor pool a.k.a the bathtub. Good luck with the heat and good on you for still keeping up with the gym!

Louiz said...

we get the gulf stream here in the UK, and we're also doing the steaming too. It's apparently 87% humidity today, and it's 18degreesC

Mmm, "used sock" is how I'd describe London today...