Complaining About the Weather

Everybody’s favorite pasttime becomes more popular in a heat wave. On Thursday we had a heat wave that set some records for the date, and, according to the National Weather Service, for all time. Oh, we’ve had hotter days in the SF Bay Area, I suppose, but it hit 107 in some of the interior regions of the “East Bay”. It hit 101 right here in Castro Valley, which does often catch the last of the sea breezes before the hills block off the counties in the eastern interior.

The thing is not the absolute temperature magnitude, but what folks are used to. It will hit 112 in Phoenix today, not bad for June. On those days when you folks along the plains states and eastern seaboard get triple digits AND 100% humidity, you’d welcome a “dry heat”.

Here, 101 “feels like” 111. But the spell is broken. I had to put on a T-shirt this morning. It’s 70 outside, 80 inside. It took all night to cool the apartment down from 88. Once the massive frame of a house or apartment soaks up the heat, it takes days for that heat to be released with ordinary, non-air-conditioned ventilation. You can feel residual heat when you walk near a wall.

Near the ocean in northern CA, very few people have air conditioning. In the interior, anyone who can afford it, has it. In Phoenix, it’s not just a quality of life issue, but it can be a medical issue. When it’s over 120, you go outside as little as possible. If the planet continues to lose ice caps at the currently accelerating rate of breakup and melt, the southwest US could become largely uninhabitable by 2050.

I’ve updated Summitlake.com’s Weather page to include regional and national  links to the NOAA – National Weather Service. NOAA offers much more detailed weather info, including an old-fashioned text summary and weather overview, so you can see where we’ve been, and why, and where the weather is headed. I retained the at-a-glance weather.com summaries, though there is really little content there beyond the daily high-lows.

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