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♫ In The Summer, When It Sizzles…♫

(Yes, I know, it’s not even SPRING, yet!)

A couple of weeks ago, it was cold and rainy, as it should be in February.  Highs in the 50’s and 60s.

BUT, we do have occasions of warmer weather spurts, followed by cooling off periods, usually culminating in the first 100° temperature around the beginning of May (sometimes a day or two earlier.  April?)

I remember a month of so ago, my roommate asking me to turn up the heat a click, as she was ‘freezing’.  (The can be difficult to gauge accurately, as our thermostat resembles a Quija board, and she has her own internal thermostatic issues.  And my room, most Westerly in the house, gets the most Sun and heat – making it 5-10 degrees warmer in warmer months (and colder in colder months)!

It appears we are beginning an up-tic:  88° Sunday (today), then 90°,92°,93°,92°,93°,95°,94° ! (per Yahoo Weather)

(My apologies, Rev. Paul, Brigid and Gloria!)

The brain trust on the street (aka the Chicken Littles) have begun proclaiming with it being this hot so early, that we are in for a scorching Summer, as is one may extrapolate the weather that far out! (attention Chicken Littles – most weather readers have enough trouble getting tomorrow’s temp correct!  And you can predict 100 years in advance?  Yeah.  Global WarmingRI-IGHT!)

Like it’s going to be 150° in the shade in July.  Silly geese.

Everyone knows it most likely won’t exceed 122°, 123°…

YIKES!

(Hopefully, this won’t happen until July, if ever!)

PHOENIX (CBS5) –

Do you remember the hottest day in Phoenix history?

It was on June 26, 1990, a day not easily forgotten as the mercury hit an all-time high temperature of 122 degrees.

Okay, June then!

 

A Possible Explanation

I used to LOVE the rain!  Growing up in the desert, it was rare.  Coupled with the addition of huge thunderheads, lightening and sudden downpours, it was the BEST!

Then, I got older and two things happened.

  1.  With age and illnesses came THE arthritis. (It’s a rule, once one reaches their sixties, one is required to put THE in from of the infirmity, i.e. the flu, the AIDS, the arthritis.)
  2. As people in Arizona don’t get rained-upon very often, unlike Midwest, South, and East-Coast people (and pretty much everywhere else!) they are less familiar with the process of driving in the rain.

AND PRETTY MUCH BECOME DANGEROUS IDIOTS ON THE ROAD, WHEN WATER IS INVOLVED!

So, rain isn’t as much fun for me, as it was when I was age eight.

BUT, I’ve developed a theory.

Remember, when it rains, how earthworms surface on sidewalks?

a-rain-worm

I’m now convinced that those that escape the sidewalks make it to cars, and start driving like maniacs!  Obviously they have less driving experience (with the rarity of precipitation).  And many don’t even have licenses!

THIS explains how there seem to be more idiot drivers during rainy weather, than when it is dry!

114° F

I just arose from a short nap.  J. got home about noon, and was tired after her early morning angiography.  So, we adjourned to our bedrooms and sacked out.

Even though I normally arise between 6 and 7, 4:30 was a bit much this morning to see her off!  I’ve not been outside since I took a quick trip to get sausage biscuits and hash browns this morning at 10 AM.

It was well over 90° then…

Here I am, catching up on email and such, when a news blip appears on my cellular telephone:

@3:08 PM, local meteorologists determined we met the record for this date, in The Valley Of The Sun.

114° F

Now, I’m not one to complain about the heat.  My parents brought me here, but, as an adult I’ve chosen to stay here.  And I’ve a car with a broken air conditioner.

Won’t hear me b*tch about the heat – no sirree!

I get to wear short-sleeves most Christmases.

But, I suspect oven mitts to handle the steering wheel and ingress/egress of the car are currently in order.

Sigh.

(not a complaint!)

J. came home without having a blockage or a stent placed.  As long as we can celebrate without going anywhere, I’m happy!

But It’s A DRY Heat, Part II

Much of Arizona is a desert.  That is, by definition, an arid wasteland, in a state of permanent drought.  The ONLY reason The Valley of the Sun (Phoenix and her environs) have any population at all, is by copying what the primitive Indians did, before Coronado came.

IRRIGATION

This is the end of the time of year known as The Monsoon, wherein it’s hot, but more humid, permeated by occasional rain.  Often nightly, after the Sun goes down, and the less heat allows the cumulus clouds surrounding the Valley to invade.  Sadly, in our particular part of town (I suspect because of the heat island effect) the clouds and rain largely avoid us.

Or perhaps it’s just they’re being ornery…

But, there are exceptions:

Last night, on my cellular telephone, with no way to turn off the alarm except shutting it off entirely…

Imminent Severe Alert (2:56 AM)

Flash Flood Warning this area til 4:45 AM MST

Avoid flood areas.  Check local media – NWS (National

Weather Service)

Repeated at 4:27 AM and 6:27 AM, extending the warnings until 6:30 AM and 10:30 AM, respectively!

(this is why I’m a bit late posting this morning; kept going back to sleep, only to be again awakened by the weather alarms!)

And this is what in front of the townhouse looked like @ 7:13 AM!

20140908_071029_resized

photo courtesy of roommate J.

This is usually all grass, with a basketball court in the center.  I’m thinking the pool to the left of the photo is under water!

We finally got rain!  ‘Course, we’re not going anywhere.

“But It’s A DRY Heat!”

I’ve lived most of my life here in the desert.  I was born back East, but, my parents moved us out here when I was a pre-schooler.  I’ve visited my birth State a few times – it’s pleasant in the Summer, but horrible in the Winter. And the cultural/political attitudes, well…

Let’s face it, I’m a Desert Rat, and I like it, just fine.

When I was growing up here, we’d play outside all day, getting water from the garden hose, as needed.  And we sometimes got sunburned.  I remember walking home (a mile and a half) from the bowling alley with my friends, the day Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon.  I don’t remember the temperature, but it was mid-Summer.  100+ degrees, easily.  And, we didn’t care.

It’s gotten statistically warmer here as the years have progressed.  Not because of global warming, but because of the heat island effect – as the metro area grows, more concrete and asphalt.  And we feel the results.  My 60-year-old body isn’t as resilient as the high-schoolers who leisurely walked home in the Summer of ’69 to watch history being made.  I generally hobble from A/C unit to A/C unit.  It’s a way of life, here.

And, with the exception of government-produced town lakes (aka mosquito hatcheries), the humidity remains low.  7% yesterday.  I’d much prefer here to say Chattanooga in July – 95 degrees and 95% humidity.  There’s little oxygen in the air (it’s mostly water) and there’s a permanent wet stripe from your armpits to your squishy shoes.  I know, I’ve been there.

We reached 122 degrees here a few years ago.  It was 116 yesterday, 118 scheduled today.  This is the price we pay for shirt-sleeve Thanksgivings and Christmases.

But, it’s a DRY Heat!

dry

h/t Brigid

Moist…

…and not in a good way*.

(beginning of whine…)

We in the AZ desert are in the middle of the ‘so-called’ monsoon season.  Historically, the temperature rises, along with the humidity, making virtually everyone more miserable.  And moist.  This is sometimes punctuated by haboobs.  (Native Arizonans say dust storms.)

I began my day with my short swim session.  The pool was cooler this morning, as it didn’t get as hot yesterday, and had sprinkled a bit.  It felt pretty good.  (written a couple days ago)

However, I was tasked with running to the store for my roomie afterward (done best before blogging), and even though the store is 1/2 mile away, the Sun had appeared and it was both hot and muggy.  Not Chattanooga in August** muggy, but uncomfortable.  It was as if after my swimming and showering I’d not dried off.  And having many health issues, including arthritis, I felt pretty crunchy.

Wet and crunchy is how I like my cereal, not my person.

I was reminded of Lonnie, veteran and good friend.  When we worked together at TMCCC, he’d stop by my desk and inquire, “How ya doin?”  This translated to ‘there’s a front moving in from the Pacific Northwest and I’m feeling it, are you?’.  We are in Arizona.  I always did.  We called ourselves ‘the barometrics’. 

I keep telling myself that more NSAIDS and swimming will eventually help.  Today, however, not so much.

(end of whining, for now)

*ya know, like chocolate cake.  I don’t know what you were thinking!
**90 degrees/90% humidity – been there, had the saturated t-shirt!

Foreign matter and irritation

Last night, much of the Valley had a dust storm.  It had been predicted to be yet another haboob.  Being a guy, the suffix boob caught my attention.
I don’t know if it was actually a haboob, but, there was some dust, at least in my part of the world.  And much rain, sheets of it, accompanied by high winds and some thunder (and I presume lightening – I was in my trundle bed at the time).
This morning there are low grey clouds portending further precipitation.  And the temperature has dropped 20-25 degrees.  Cold and chilly by Valley standards.
Also last night, I was driving home when my car’s ‘service engine soon’ light came on.  Those of you who follow this blog know that in the past five months, this has happened two other times, accompanied by expense and repair, none of which I can afford.  *SIGH*
But, the car continues to run, for the moment.  The plan is to take her into the auto shop, have them connect their computer gizmo, and determine repair(s) and cost(s).  Probably tomorrow, as the weather gods say it will be clear then, just in time to rain again Monday.
But we will prevail!  When it rains, it pours.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…