Heat and Humidity

Before I start, I will point out the obvious — I’m working on personalizing the blog a bit.  I took that sunset picture a few years ago.  Lloyd and I spent our anniversary on the Washington Coast.  It was one of the driest springs on record and the sunset made it seem like a summer day, even though it was only March.  A couple of years later, we spent our anniversary at the beach again and it snowed.  (edited to add:  I have since updated the blog.  The picture referred to is this below)…

Speaking of weather….

The humidity has really set in this week in DC.  I’m told that it’s more like July weather, so we are hoping for a little reprieve.  However, I do not like to complain about heat.  After spending most of my summers in Phoenix, I feel like summer is supposed to be hot.  Besides that, my PNW friends have been talking about the fact that they are still running their furnaces, so I’m greatful that we aren’t dealing with that.  And to a certain degree, I sort of like the humidity.  It makes me feel like I’m on a tropical vacation — but only when I can be barely dressed and lounging around under a fan or next to a pool with an umbrella drink.  Then, it’s sort of sultry and sexy.  When I have to walk to work feeling like I’m breathing through a wet sponge and end up sweating like a pig for the first hour that I’m in the office – well, there’s just nothing sexy about that. 

But, I get really tired of people telling me that the heat in Arizona is better because there is no humidity.  Most of the people who tell me this have never actually lived in Arizona, so they don’t really know what they are talking about.  Let’s do a little comparison. 

Yesterday, the temperature in DC topped out at around 97 degrees in the heat of the day.  With the humidity, the heat index was around 103.  Hot.  And there was a heat advisory in place.  Today was the same story, although a cold front is moving in so now we have severe thunderstorm warnings.  By contrast, in Phoenix, the high temperature today will be around 97 degrees with negligible humidity.  So, yes…today, DC feels hotter than Phoenix but only by a few degrees.  But, it’s early June.  That will soon change. 

Let’s tackle the notion that in Arizona, it’s a “dry heat”.  First of all, yes….the humidity is not as high as it is in other places.  But, in those “dry heat” areas, the temperatures generally are much higher than the more humid areas.  I have suffered through temperatures in the one-teens and never once thought to myself that it was any more tolerable because it was dry.  In fact, once the temperature passes the 110 threshold, it’s just plain miserable with or without humidity.

And, then there is the monsoon.  Monsoon season starts in Arizona anytime from about June 15-July 1st’ish and can last all the way into September (it all depends on dew point, but I won’t geek out on you that much).  Even with a “mere” 50% humidity, the average 105 degree July day can feel like 134 degrees.  One hundred thirty four degrees.  That, my friends, is hot and makes today feel downright comfortable.

At the end of the day, it’s almost as if we always feel the need to one up eachother in the weather department.  Let’s just agree that summer can be hot.  And, where it’s not hot, people are wishing it were.  (I promised I wouldn’t complain about the weather.  I did not promise I wouldn’t complain about people who complain about the weather).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go check the radar and read about hurricane season, which started today.

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