Sunday, July 24, 2016

Heat dome.

Remind me of this weekend when you hear me bitching about the cold next January.

Those Canadian province borders look like waves of sizzle rising from the U.S.'s overdone steak, don't they?

Just one of those hot and miserable weekends, the kind where even families that ignore their own swimming pools for 51 weeks of the year jump in wholeheartedly. Our huge hairy dog doesn't want to be outside at all. If ever there was a time we could teach him to use the toilet bowl, this is that time.

This term "heat dome" was a new one on me. Nor can you find it in Merriam-Webster's. The Weather Channel describes it as a huge (in this case, nationwide) dome of high pressure that is conducive to holding in a mass of hot air. Sounds like a political convention. (Har har.)

Makes one grateful for the bright boys who invented and refined air conditioning over the years, doesn't it?

Copyright Rob Sneed -- thanks, Mr. Sneed!

The Gothamist had an article about how people in New York City used to deal with the heat in the summer, often by sleeping on fire escapes. It mentioned in passing that thousands would sleep on the beach at Coney Island. One of the older, now passed on, men of my family remembered summer nights sleeping in the family in the park, with blankets, like a picnic for sleeping.

New York hardly gets the worst heat in the country, although sometimes the humidity does keep it in contention. The city generally gets a little bit of everything awful -- high winds, minor earthquakes, occasional hurricanes, torrential rains, sometime blizzards, godawful heat waves, ice and hail, even the rare but terrifying tornadoes. But the city and the state are sharing the misery with the rest of the nation this week. We'll just complain loudest.

The Weather Channel also says that high heat is the deadliest kind of weather. I disagree, because they're going by total number of fatalities nationwide rather than fatalities per event---I think desperate cold is more dangerous, but it doesn't affect the whole country the way heat waves do. But wherever you are, if it's hot, take it easy, keep to the shade, wear your sunblock, enjoy the A/C. And remember---stay hydrated out there.

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