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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Be Cool, Boy...

The weather people weren't joking or wrong this time. This is really uncalled-for, and we aren't halfway thru this humid heat wave. Running from Wednesday thru Monday next, we in New England are melting, melting... Right now, at 10:25 p.m. EDSFT, it's 80'F, with 66% humidity, and a heat index of 83'F. A "Heat Advisory" is in effect. Which means tomorrow will actually be dangerously hot. This has already been brutal and we're only in the middle of summer.

August used to be the real scale of disgust. In August in NYC, the garbage reeked whether there was a strike or not, the subway platforms exuded a thick tang of urine that you could all but taste, and people lost their minds. But everyone who'd lived thru one NY August knew it was ten days or so of Hell and then over. That's not the case anymore, in NY or anywhere else in the northeast US. Now we have four or five days every couple of weeks that make you wish you could take off your skin and rattle around in your bones.

There are tricks if you don't have AC. Start by drinking a lot of fluids but avoid too much of caffeine. Take an aspirin. Let the cooler night air in and shut the house up in the morning, pulling shades and drapes closed to keep it dark. If you can, shower at midday. Wear as little clothing as possible and use baby powder. Don't exert yourself. Coordinate fans. If you can, mount an exhaust fan in the upper part of a window and let it pull a breeze through your house (this kept my family home cool in the worst dog days, before everyone had AC). If you must cook, do it at night when it's coolest and if you have an outdoor grill, use it. Hot foods and spicy foods will make you sweat, which can make you feel cooler. I'm not a great fan of sweating, myself. A wet towel around the neck is a good coolant and periodically splashing water on your skin helps, especially if you're sunburned. Use a mist bottle if you want. Stay out of the sun unless you absolutely have to be in it and wear a hat. These days are when sunstroke happens too easily. If your home becomes unbearable go to a cooling center; most towns offer them now. The library, stores, community centers, even municipal buildings and some churches offer an air-conditioned oasis. Use them. If you feel ill at all, seek a cooler shelter. And if you feel very ill, call for help. Don't play with the Heat Miser. He means business.


Austan said...

It's noon, 90"F with a heat index of 93', and we're not at the hottest part of the day yet. I'm also trying to not get pissed off, which is tough, but I think my blood pressure in this heat would make my head explode, thereby ripping a hole in the space/time continuum, and possibly sending me into the future, where Rupert Murdoch is 233 years old and rules the Earth as "Our Good and Loving Chairman."

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Sorry you're having such awful heat. We're kinda used to the misery in the south, but that doesn't mean we have to like it. But we DO drink a lot of iced tea.

Austan said...

Susan, I opened the back door to take in a towel that was drying and before I could open the screen door it was too hot and I shut it. It's like a convection oven out there. The dewpoint's at 72 and the heat index is 98. And I moved to New England to get away from heat! Hahahahah!

Lisa said...

Today - currently (4:30pm) it is 98, with a heat index of 106. We're not in the hottest part yet. Humidity is 45% and dew point is 72. Low tonight an expected 77.

Yesterday - High of 97, low of 73. Heat index, humidity and dew point about the same as today.

It's been like this for a week now. Been under an Extreme Heat Advisory since Tuesday and it will go thru Saturday at least. We had about 10 minutes of rain last night and that just made it worse. The only bearable thing about this is that there has been a light breeze the whole time. Blah.......... :(

Austan said...

Here's our 8 p.m. info from the NOAA:
Temp: 84 F
Dewpoint: 79 F
Pressure: 29.69inhg
Humidity: 88.9%
WindChill: 84 F
HeadIndex: 91 F
HumidityIndex: 106.0 F
Now they're saying this could go on til next Tuesday. I should have bought an air conditioner. But this is friggin Vermont, not the south!

Lisa said...

Yep, you're getting what we had. If I was thinking on all cylinders, I would've warned ya. Sorry! :( It's been too hot to think.

Austan said...

There's an "It's So Hot.." thread on iBratt, but everyone's too hot and cranky to joke about it.