Saturday, July 21, 2007

As things heat up...

...globally and around here I get the opportunity to travel around the state.

Last week during one of our unusual "hot spells" I ran up to the northwest tip of the Olympic Peninsula to have a looksee at a couple of wildfires. The weather was very hot and very dry for this time of the year and these little fires had some of the local folks a bit on edge. I can't say that I blame them though.

On the way back from my little trip I happened to catch one of our nation's submarines making it's way back to it's port. It was being escorted down Hood Canal by a Coast Guard vessel that ensured all vessels in the sub's path keep their distance.

I watched as the Coast Guard vessel led the sub through the opened passage of the Hood Canal bridge... vehicle traffic lined up on both sides of the opened bridge for miles.

The heat waves above the water distorted the views.

It was HOT.

Hot for around here... Hot for anywhere.

We have family in Arizona, Colorado and many other states where temperatures climb into the triple digits quite often throughout the summer months so I guess they're all going to claim they're "used to it".

But take away that air conditioning, that little pool, etc. and see how "used to it" they'll be then. In western Washington we don't normally use air conditioning in our homes because the weather only gets up into the nineties five to ten days a year. Our problem with the heat is the humidity!

Most folks know Washington State is a "wet" state. It rains a lot here and the rain keeps most everything green and moist throughout the year. It's those rare summer days when things heat up and the humidity is high that makes me remember my days in Fort Polk, Louisiana back in June through August of 1972 and several other wonderfully hot, moist locations that my fine Uncle Sam sent me to visit.

The bottom line is I didn't like it then and I don't like it now.

So, when I got home to our empty, sun baked house without air conditioning I checked out the temperatures in the shade and direct sunlight. Once at 4:00 p.m. and once again at 5:00 p.m.

The first picture (above) of the Kestrel was taken at 4:00 p.m. It shows the temperature in the direct sun (102 degrees Fahrenheit) that day, July 11, 2007 in our backyard.

The next picture (above) of the indoor/outdoor thermometer shows the temperature in the shade (100 degrees Fahrenheit) at 4:00 p.m. on July 11. Note the "inside" the house temperature is climbing past 90 degrees.

This next picture taken at 5:00 showing the "in the shade" temperature at over 103 degrees fahrenheit and the "inside" of the house temperature at over 90 degrees fahrenheit.

In all, the direct sun temperature peaked out at over 104 degrees fahrenheit in our backyard and another reading with the Kestrel on the deck showed the temperature at over 112 degrees fahrenheit... most likely because of the deck's dark color.

Not what we're used to, not what we planned for and certainly not fun!

But around here if you don't like the weather wait a day or two, it'll change.

Within two days the temperatures had dropped from triple digits to the high 60's, low 70's and the rains came.

Ah, back to that good ol' western Washington summer.

Those dog days of summer behind us for now. We're getting those comfortable Pacific Northwest summer breezes and cooling rains.

Something we all tend to enjoy around here... on the west side of this fine state!

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