Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Man It's a Hot One

Like seven inches from the midday sun.*
For real.
 
Fahrenheit / Celsius
and I should have done these screen shots last week when it was 118°

We know it’s coming every year – the brutal heat of an Arizona summer – but still we are always shocked by the intensity. Every summer we claim that it’s worse than the year before, and every year we make our way through the scorching days by dreaming of the beautiful fall and winter months just around the corner.
 
Many of my out-of-state and international friends have asked how we cope, and I’ve been thinking about a way to answer that question. I suppose we just do what we have to do to get through each day – much like those of you that live in snow and ice cold temps in the winter. It’s not your ideal weather choice, but it’s home and that’s what you deal with.
When you live in the desert there are things you just get used to in the hot summer months. Things like low energy, grumpy/irritable dispositions, and decreased appetites. No one is making beef stew or chili in these parts, and we avoid using the oven as much as possible. And while cooking outside on the grill seems like a groovy thing to do, that doesn’t happen in these parts either. The last thing Doug wants to do is stand next to a hot grill when the outside temps are in excess of 110°!

{Unknown source. If it's yours please let me know and I'll give proper credit.}

Animals left outdoors during the day suffer and search for shade and/or wet dirt {hence our Lucky dog’s excessive digging lately}. Our automatic sprinkler system waters twice a day instead of once, and other outdoor plants get an extra dose of water when we remember.
You never realize how much exposed metal is in a car until you live through an Arizona summer. It heats up and can burn your skin when touched! A steering wheel left uncovered can be almost impossible to touch, and a car parked in the sun for any length of time can heat up to over 140° - a deathly inferno for pets or small children left in cars. Yes, it happens. So sad!
Doug’s paint truck contents and ladders heat to the point that they can’t be touched without burning him, and regular hydration becomes an absolute necessity. Heat advisories are issued almost daily, warning residents to stay inside and out of the heat. Every summer I beg Doug to turn down the exterior painting jobs, but it never fails that there are some in the mix. Those days are just stifling for him.
Air conditioning units run almost constantly, and AC repair men are in high demand. If/when your unit stops working {and it usually does at some point during the summer}, you want that repair guy there ASAP! And swimming pools aren’t much fun once the water heats up and feels like a warm bath instead of a refreshing dip.

And so we cope by staying indoors as much as possible and making our way through the dog days of summer. Sometime around the end of September we’ll get relief, but until then we’ll be going about our hot business and dreaming of Christmas in July.

Are there any extreme weather conditions where you live?
How do you cope?
*Opening lyrics from Santana's Smooth.

19 comments:

Beverly said...

It's not unusual for us to have 9 or 10 straight days in the low 100s in late July and August, throw in our wonderful Southern humidity and there's a lot of sweating going on. Cannot imagine how hot your cars get! If I don't use my sunshield it's ridiculous some days. Do the mountains provide relief?

Becky said...

We are lucky to get sun over here lol! And we are being extremely lucky at the moment - we've had it warm, actually hot for us at 30C for a couple of days and no rain now for nearly two weeks and at least another week of hot weather forecast. When it is like this we just ENJOY it! We've had barbecues, sat in the garden and gone for walks in the evening when it is a little cooler. I remember how hot it was in Death Valley and Vegas last June and that wasn't as hot as you have had it recently! We just about coped for the 5 days we were there, can't imagine living in it! Hope it cools a little for you soon and you can get outside to enjoy your garden.

Liz said...

We have the total opposite here in Bonny Scotland. Most of the time in the summer the temps don't rise much above 25 C. We count ourselves lucky when we do get hot days as winter can be here a long time. -6 C is not my favourite temperature. Hope you find some relief from the intense heat :0)

Cheri said...

Please keep the heat in Arizona where it belongs! We've had five straight days of mid-90's and so much humidity it is like soup outside. I would never survive in your world.

scrappyjacky said...

We tend not to get extremes of temps here....which is why our infrastructure doesn't cope well with either very hot or very cold....though,of course, we consider it extreme when our temps reach 30 degrees as they are now!! But it's the perfect temperature for BBQs....which are in evidence everywhere at the moment...we know from experience it could be back to 20 degrees by next week!!

Alison said...

Like you, Deb at the moment we. Have fans/aircon on indoors and try to stay in the shade outdoors......our pool is still quite a pleasant 28degrees, but all thoughts of cooking have left my mind! Poor Boo spends her days under the bed on the cool(ish) tiles and comes out in the evening when it's cooler
Alison xx

Amy said...

Hi Deb :)

We have a hot summer too, though not prolonged extreme temps. We have a few months where it ranges from 30-40C and then about a month where it can easily be 35-45C on any given day.
I really relate to the lethargy and feeling cranky part, it is challenging to manage. Because we generally don't have high humidity we use an evaporative air conditioner which means we can have fresh air circulating through the house and it is economical to run the whole day and night if need be ... and often that is the case.

In those really hot times I find I will use the stove or the oven very early in the morning if it is necessary, we eat a lot of salad and we have the BBQ in a shady place so that it is useable.

It is second nature that we all drink a lot of water and the kids are permanently slathered in sunscreen and wear hats - our schools are very strict with this - No Hat No Play!

Interestingly, I have noticed, since I've been blogging, the years you have an extremely hot summer has meant we have too ...... not looking forward to that trend continuing!

Auntie Bliss said...

I hear you loud and clear. I am not a lover of heat at all.
Summer gets two thumbs down from me...it is so humid here every summer. I can't tell my boys to go outside, heck I won't go out unless I have to. I love grilling so much but rarely is it just right to do that.
(what a whiner I am!)

Rachel B said...

Man that sounds HOT! I live near scrappyJacky and that pretty much sums up our English weather.. hope you manage to keep cool :)

Sian said...

Wow, now that's a post to make us think here! Swap those numbers round - we had 24 degrees yesterday and they were calling it the hottest day of the year..

Karen said...

Our extremes are usually in the winter, but the last few weeks have been hot and steamy. The temps aren't as bad as the 95% humidity. Our AC has been running pretty consistently, but it's nothing compared to your heat. I was in Phoenix one summer and it was over 100° at midnight. Dry heat was still really HOT heat! Can't imagine what your cars must be like.

Maria Ontiveros said...

I admit to being a weather wimp!
We do get a lot of fog and grey days, but I can deal with those by taking a short drive to some place sunny.
A really interesting post today!
Rinda

Stephanie said...

wow! that is hot! it's hot here, but not that hot, though it is pretty muggy.

Miriam said...

Such an interesting post Deb. I am totally unable to cope with the heat particularly in the car. I had the AC on today & it was blowing warm air!!! I just love the cool of the evening.

Ginger said...

It’s much the same for us here with our cold temperatures. We try to stay inside as much as we can, but it’s not always realistic, especially when we all have to get to work somehow! Sometimes the schools will shut down because the buses will not run. I laughed when you mentioned broken AC's – we’ve had our furnace break down in -30C, luckily there are people who work after hours for repairs.

Anyway – thanks for sharing what it’s like for you and Doug. I hope normal temps resume soon.

alexa said...

This has been a really interesting read, Deb :). Gosh, working outside sounds fierce and there are clearly hazards to travel by car that we never think of here. I lived in the south of Spain for a while where the temperatures were similar, and the day was broken into two lively parts of morning and evening (children playing till eleven p.m. or later) and everyone siesta-ing in the afternoon!

Gail said...

That was a really interesting read Deb. Having been in Las Vegas one July I've some idea of what it's like where you are. We're lucky with our winters that they aren't too extreme but do occasionally get the really cold day but summer can get really hot for us and when you add in the humidity it's numbing. I usually find ways to stay indoors those days and go out as little as possible. We don't use the oven much in the summer and do tend to grill if the weather isn't too hot or too wet.

Randall Rogers said...

Tell me about it. 108 degrees isn't something to laugh at. It is, for all intents and purposes, a challenge. ACs must be working for 24 hours at this point; it's just a matter of whether the units that you have are going to hold up. So for me, the best way to cope is to simply pick the right AC, based on the most stringent standards of quality.

Randall Rogers @ R.J. Mechanical

Ambrose said...

We lived in New Jersey and the worst we had to deal with was ninety degrees even in the worst summer days. When we had to relocate to Arizona I will never forget that first day in my car. It had to be well over one hundred degrees, and the intensity of the sun is completely overwhelming and hotter than you can imagine.

Ambrose @ Brown & Reaves Services, Inc.

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