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We’re having a heat wave

I suppose you’ve all read about Britain’s killer heat wave, the one with a body count of over 700? Look up. That’s it. That’s the real thing. That’s our actual weather forecast for the week.

Last week, it was in the mid-70s and sunny every day, clear and in the mid-50s at night. Or, as we used to call that in Tennessee, “April.”

To be fair, it’s been hotter in other parts of the country that are even less used to it than we are (it is *always* snowing somewhere in Scotland), but I don’t think it’s broken 90 anywhere. Most of the fatalities are swimming related.

So, as we slide into the weekend, what’s the hottest you’ve endured? We used to visit my grandmother every August. She lived in the bayou, on the banks of the Amite River in Baton Rouge. Stepping out of the air conditioning was like being sucked violently into Satan’s armpit.

p.s. What, you thought I was going to go with Barack Obama in a hoodie? Noo thenk yew. I’ve already disrespected an iconic African saint this week.


Comment from AliceH
Time: July 19, 2013, 11:00 pm

I’m enduring the same temps here in MO.

Well, sort of. I’ve set the A/C thermostat to 78F inside. Outside it’s actually running in the low 90ss with plenty of sticky humidity. No rain, though – grass getting crunchy. Tomorrow I’ll have to set out basins of water (plus standing rocks) for the birds to splash around.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: July 19, 2013, 11:18 pm

Quartzite Arizona 117, and don’t tell me itsa dry heat.
46 degrees north latitude, 100 degrees and 70% humidity, sleep in the basement where it’s still 60 degrees.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: July 19, 2013, 11:22 pm

The comments on that Breitbart article are a hoot. Are Brits really dying from too much alcohol? It either dries them out like mummies OR causes them to go into the nearest lake and drown.

90 degrees isn’t that warm guys.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 19, 2013, 11:25 pm

Born and raised in Tennessee, but I *hate* the heat. Still, I always figure anything under 85 and I’m fine. Especially if it cools down at night.

For the past ten days or so, there’s been a 20 degree difference between night and day here. That’s unusual. It means even in the heat, there’s a lovely cool breeze.

Comment from AliceH
Time: July 19, 2013, 11:47 pm

S’pose I should admit that this is actually the first I’ve heard of your heat wave. It’s probably all over the news but I’ve been avoiding that lately.

Comment from Chef Mojo
Time: July 19, 2013, 11:49 pm

120 degrees. Boy Scout summer camp, Morón Air Base, Morón de la Frontera, Spain. 1976.

Yes. That’s a real place.

Comment from dissent555
Time: July 19, 2013, 11:56 pm

Middle 90’s and humid. Normalish July weather. Cold front comin’. Low 80’s for the weekend. Nice.

Comment from Crabby Old Bat
Time: July 20, 2013, 12:01 am

114, Southern California. My 100 year-old desert tortoise DIED.

Comment from Deborah
Time: July 20, 2013, 12:08 am

It has been uncharacteristically cool here in the Hill Country. And it has rained a lot this week—glorious blissful rain. But last week it hit 108 where Husband works, in downtown San Antonio. I adjust the thermostat on the a/c as needed, but the ceiling fans have been slowly turning since May. I never turn them off. It is the key I think, to keeping the house from getting too hot. I have 10 ft ceilings, so the heat doesn’t build up if the fans are running.

But it’s 90 now, at 7pm, which is quite bearable for us.

So sorry to hear about your tortoise, Crabby Old Bat. What a terrible loss.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: July 20, 2013, 12:29 am

No P-Shops???

Chicken Ba-GAWK!!!!!!!

Oh, wait. That’s a compliment in these here parts.

Comment from Jeff Gauch
Time: July 20, 2013, 12:43 am

130 between the feed pumps in the Gulf. You step out of the ventilation cone (Only the Navy would think a hair dryer would cool you off. Only in the Gulf would they be right) and you feel your pores open like Judge Aquilina’s legs when Obama comes on the TV.

Not sure about the humidity, but when I was the next watch station over – only 102 in the ventilation – I knew it was time to pump the bilges when it started to rain.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: July 20, 2013, 1:18 am

Crabby Old Bat,

I have recently learned that the Nevada BLM has a Desert Tortoise sanctuary that is overflowing with Desert Tortoises and are looking for people to “adopt” them, because apparently they can’t just take them back to the desert.

Comment from Dustoffmom
Time: July 20, 2013, 2:03 am

Barstow, CA….116 and I’m with you Skandia, don’t talk to me about ‘dry heat’! Currently here in west Tennessee (waving wildly to a fellow Tennessean) it’s been mid 90’s for the past 8-10 days with 80-90% humidity. Pretty miserable actually. But cooler this weekend, rain likely, and all in all pretty normal for us.

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: July 20, 2013, 2:51 am

When we were in London in June 2010 I think it was, it was so hot I ended up enjoying a room in your lovely NHS from heat exhaustion and dehydration. Of course it didn’t help much that I had to ride one of your buses, no way to see the view ahead to stave off motion sickness. Being thrown from side to side from lack of shock absorbers. Ventilation apparently hasn’t made it’s way to your country either, after all one wouldn’t want the sweat to aid in cooling your body down. I guess it’s stiff upper lip and schweaty balls. Those buses are nothing but big red roasting ovens!

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: July 20, 2013, 3:51 am

High summer in the middle of Nebraska, working the cooking line in my dad’s Chinese restaurant while the blower hoods were broken. 119 degrees, felt like 100% humidity. 15 hour shifts. [it was usually only 109 when the blowers were working]

Hottest without broilers, flat-top grills, and restaurant wok stoves; July in New Orleans, 104 degrees and the air felt like the Mississippi River next to me.

Grew up working in restaurants. Spent my career chasing felons, because it was easier and paid better.

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from JeffS
Time: July 20, 2013, 5:54 am

Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, 2005: 144 F. According to the car thermometer (which I stayed inside, as much as possible, emulating the Kuwaitis). There is room for error, given the nature of the thermometer. The rest of the time, around 130 F. It was hot enough that outside water storage became your hot water, and showers were best taken carefully, just in case.

Of course, this was a dry heat, as the winds normally blow from the west, over the desert. One day, the winds came from the east, from the ocean. The humidity went from 5% to 100% overnight. Ugh!

Comment from Oceania
Time: July 20, 2013, 6:17 am

Can’t really see what you are all complaining about


Comment from Oldcat
Time: July 20, 2013, 7:11 am

A year or so before I left Chicago in the 90s there was a heat wave and power failure at the same time. 700 or so people died before they got the power back on. Mostly elderly people who were to afraid to open windows and doors for air.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: July 20, 2013, 7:45 am

Temps made it to 95 F two days ago, and they’re calling it a heat wave in the eastern US. Seems like normal summer weather here to me, which has been in short supply until now.

Hottest? 53 C (128 F) one lovely day in Doha, Qatar. 50 C was common. Spent 5.5 years there.

Comment from Oceania
Time: July 20, 2013, 9:09 am

I hope that you saved your Pennies? It seams to be an attractive place.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 20, 2013, 10:53 am

Michael Moore is getting a divorce? Who knew he was married?

My worst case of sunstroke: first time I saw the ocean. I was nine. I snorkeled, by which I mean floated on the surface with a snorkel on gawping at the fish. That’s a day’s worth of Florida sun beating down on my white back.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 20, 2013, 11:01 am

Honestly, I don’t know how you guys deployed to the hot places could stand it. Not only extreme heat, but in uniform with heavy physical responsibilities.

Lessee, I also worked in the kitchen of a pizza restaurant during a heat wave. We were always losing money, so our safety equipment was allowed to deteriorate. Also that thing on the oven door that made the fan stop when you opened it. Every time you pulled a pizza out, you got a fan-assisted blast in the face of 450° cheese breath.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: July 20, 2013, 11:48 am

Wait 12 hours :
Cold front came through late yesterday.
This morning temp is 56 degrees, a drop of 40 degrees and the furnace is blowing dollar bills up the chimney.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 20, 2013, 11:56 am

If I may just elbow my way into this assembly of cackling former colonials, it’s worth pointing out the report about 700 + ‘deaths’ was an estimate by a bunch of medical academics.

No doubt they were taking a break from their vital research proving that anyone who ever, even once, looked at a cigarette packet is 796% more likely to die of lung cancer. Than a penguin.

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: July 20, 2013, 2:07 pm

Helen Thomas has met her judgement day!!!! Who gets dick?

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: July 20, 2013, 2:13 pm

Well, the humidity is the problem, its one thing to be 77 degrees, but that London fog doesn’t stop showing up just because its summer. Its just invisible.

Comment from JeffS
Time: July 20, 2013, 2:24 pm

weaselwannabe has the dick, Mrs. Compton.

Comment from JeffS
Time: July 20, 2013, 2:30 pm

Honestly, I don’t know how you guys deployed to the hot places could stand it. Not only extreme heat, but in uniform with heavy physical responsibilities.

Acclimation, for starters. That was one reason (among others) for staging out of Kuwait; the troops spent several weeks there, preparing equipment, and going through final training. Drink lots of water for another. And physical training, a real necessity.

But there was a serious effort to get air conditioning there. In tents and vehicles. Even up-armored hummers.

Comment from Deborah
Time: July 20, 2013, 2:43 pm

I recall all the hand-wringing by the news media who claimed our military personnel could not withstand the extreme temperatures of the middle east deserts. Then in six months they were crying about the winters in Afghanistan, and how our milpers would freeze to death. As though age and physical fitness (and equipment) had no bearing on the situation.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 20, 2013, 3:30 pm

The Leftist media catchphrase here was ‘the brutal Afghan winter’ Deborah.

Many of our military types are recruited from Scotland and the North East of England. They know about vile weather up there.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: July 20, 2013, 4:23 pm

I lived in Kansas for the better part of 30 years. If you can live in Kansas you can live pretty near anywhere.

Comment from Nora
Time: July 20, 2013, 4:55 pm

Ft Worth, August 2011, 117 degrees — visiting family whose air conditioning broke. Not kidding.

Comment from Mojo
Time: July 20, 2013, 5:01 pm

Local high so far: 109 degrees F

Comment from Formerly known as Skeptic
Time: July 20, 2013, 5:03 pm

I think the worst was a full week of over 110 highs with at least 3 days over 115. The bad part was that the base housing (Edwards AFB) only had swamp coolers, not AC. For the uninitiated, swamp coolers work by evaporative cooling and can only produce about a 20 degree difference in temperature between the inside and outside of the house. So, of course, it was in the 90’s indoors too. Beautiful nights though, when the temps dropped into the mid 70’s and everyone came out on the street since the houses retained the heat!

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: July 20, 2013, 7:08 pm

I’m an old Nordic fart myself. I can walk around half-naked and barefoot in February, but anything over 75 degrees and I’m sweating.

South China was a challenge. 100+ degrees at night with near perfect humidity.

Comment from Veeshir
Time: July 20, 2013, 9:44 pm

I’ve been in kitchens when it was 100+ outside and much, much hotter inside, I didn’t want to know how hot so I can’t say.

I’m in AZ now, and 115-120 is what we call, “late-afternoon” in July and August. I set the A/C for 78 and it’s very cool inside. When I set it for 76 it feels cold.

As for the 120, I’ll say it.
It’s a dry heat…
The kind that makes mummies.

There are some upsides for the dryness though, there’s at least 10 degrees difference between sun and shade and if you wait about 10 minutes before cleaning up your dog’s ‘stuff’, it’s dry, hard and nearly scentless.

Comment from Brad Ervin
Time: July 20, 2013, 11:37 pm

Amen for our deployed fellows. They do 30 min shifts at the guard shack checking ID’s. In the desert you WANT clothes: long sleeves, long pants, hats. The sun is your enemy. By the water in the desert (Qatar, UAE…), you want air conditioning. In 100+ weather and the humidity in these places water helps but won’t save you.

Comment from Allen
Time: July 21, 2013, 12:32 am

130 degrees F, on July 4th, Furnace Creek in Death Valley. I played a round of golf, and then had a couple of ice cold Tequila shots in the bar. Then back out into the heat. Woowee.

I swear you can actually feel the Tequila move when you do that.

Comment from Nina
Time: July 21, 2013, 1:46 am

113 or thereabouts that I know for sure, but I’ve been to Phoenix in July, so you never know.

Comment from Paula Douglas
Time: July 21, 2013, 2:41 am

It’s mid- to upper-90’s here northeast of Dallas for weeks on end. I think it broke a hundred a couple of days, but I was at work and missed those. But this is part of the reason I moved to Texas. Driving home at 5:30 a.m. the other day it was 87. The AC is set to 82, and it’s true what they say: you get used to it. I can go outside now, guess at the temperature, and be 15 degrees too low. The cats dig it, too.

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: July 21, 2013, 5:54 am

121-to-122 degrees Fahrenhatchet one fine mid-July midday, in Las Vegas, NV, as that was what was registering on the sides of a tower display – whilst Self and Family floated slowly, ’round and ’round, the perimeter “drift stream” of an outdoor water park near the south end of The Strip called “Grand-Slam Canyon”, ‘way back in about 1993 or 1994…Also, 118 F. in Mesa, AZ, “out in the Valley” east of Phoenix, in mid-July of 2009.

And yes, in both instances, it was “a dry heat” – as in: “so dry, you’d got to prime twice or more so’s to spit” – but still, perty damn hot.

One afternoon that summer in Mesa, one of the company’s summer interns, returning from lunch break, walked from his car to the building across the asphalt parking lot, and found when he got inside the (heavily air-conditioned) office, his polyester shoe-soles had partially melted away. We commonly had to leave the car windows open a wee slit, to avoid having the expanding interior air cause one or more windows to crack from the pressure.


Comment from Anonymous
Time: July 21, 2013, 6:34 am

44 degrees so far this night, and no idea how low it will go before morning. Record low is 39.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: July 21, 2013, 10:27 pm

There was an Epidemiology gig at U of Pittsburgh that I wanted badly. I remember the day of the interview, it was 114 degrees and I was wearing a suit and tie. By the time I walked the three blocks to the center I was utterly stupefied.

The position went to someone who interviewed on a cooler day.

Comment from pioneer46
Time: July 22, 2013, 1:27 am

My time in Kuwait started at midnight. We got off the plane and it was 95 degrees. It hit 144 the next day. Our drinking water was in pallets outside our tents. I no longer need ice in my drinks – anything under 130 degrees is fine for drinking as it is.

After moving north, we were guarding some of Saddam’s artillery shells (French printing on the box), and my digital thermometer hit 132 deg for about 6 hours. The next day, and every day since, it’s read 76 degrees. Apparently, Coleman didn’t think to test their stuff to that extreme.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: July 22, 2013, 2:24 pm

I suspect it could be that a lot of Britain’s houses are so well-insulated or built so solidly that heat can’t escape easily. That’s good for winter, not good at all for summer. When I lived in Denver, I heard the same whine all the time from people with brick homes: “The sun hits the house all afternoon long, and then when the sun goes down the heat re-radiates — inside! Waaah!”

Never occurred to the morons to, ya know, install air conditioning. If I had a buck for every time I heard a Denverite snap, “Ya don’t need ‘air’ in Colorado!”, I could move back there. Which I wish I could. Here, 97% humidity and 78 F. at dawn, 50% humidity and 92 F. in the afternoon. For almost ten months of the year. Gah.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: July 22, 2013, 2:26 pm

I imagine folks at Coleman didn’t expect anyone to go camping in Death Valley in the middle of summer.

There are some people who just cannot take that kind of heat, acclimatization or not, but the younger you are, the more flexible you can be.

Comment from oh Hell
Time: July 22, 2013, 7:45 pm

Cold front last week – snow on Loveland Pass!! We got much needed rain and now it’s back to hot and muggy (but only 90ish and bearable). I think I would fall over and croak in 120 degrees….

Comment from Poindexter
Time: July 22, 2013, 9:25 pm

My former wife and I lived in Houston from 1979 to 1981. In the summer of 1980, we were living in a second-floor apartment in Clear Lake (near NASA). As I recall, we had a heatwave where the temperature was above 100 degrees for two weeks straight (seemed like a month, but the ‘net says two weeks). This being Houston, the humidity was above 90% all the time as well. We had two small girls, and my wife had to keep them in the apartment all day because the risk of heat stroke was so bad.

The topper: when my current wife and I moved to Dallas in the summer of 1998, Texas was in the worst heatwave it had had since…1980. ..pointy..

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