Saturday, August 14, 2010

Temperature Extremes

According to NWS/NOAA, we just reached 100 degrees a little while ago. I don't cope with 90+ happily, and the centennial mark feels like a stake in the heart to me. On the other hand, it's a dry heat. With a dew point of 47, the relative humidity is 17%, and there's a bit of a breeze. So it's more of a convection oven feeling rather than being pressure cooked. I'm thinking I may go home and take a nap and a cold bath at the same time. As I mentioned to someone a few minutes ago, it's days like this that make me appreciate February. Could be worse, I suppose, and Monday, it looks like it might be. But we're nowhere near our all time records. This chart from Bits and Pieces is pretty wild. If I had thought about it, I might have guessed our record range was in the neighborhood of 160 degrees, but both the record high and record low are more extreme than I would have assumed.


Dana Hunter said...

"Dry heat." Hee. This has a different meaning in different parts of the country. When I lived in AZ, we used to whine about how awfully muggy it was about the time the humidity hit 20%, and 15% was considered uncomfortably damp. Of course, I used to consider 85 degrees a sensible temp. Now I look upon it with dread.

I was living near Phoenix when we hit that 128 in Lake Havasu. They had to ground the jets at Sky Harbor, it was that hot. And our landlady loved to recount the story of how she'd been out cleaning the pool, fully exposed to the blazing hot sun, that afternoon, thinking it was warm but not uncomfortably so. She'd just moved to the state from MA, so bone-dry record heat didn't even register with her.

Weird how we perceive heat.

How was the ice bath?

Silver Fox said...

Glad you're humidity is low with the heat wave, isn't it usually 50-90%?

I'm surprised the Nevada low is only -50, though that record was set back in 1937 when they may have been using thermometers that only read to -50.

The low in Coldfoot, AK was listed at -50 for a long time, until they got a non-Hg thermometer.

Silver Fox said...

Damn, that should be your. Better get some more coffee!

Lockwood said...

Dana- I grew up in SE Ohio, where DP's are typically 70+, and RH's often in the 80's. 47/17% is indeed a dry heat by comparison. Some years ago I knew a grad student from Reno who was always complaining about how muggy it was, and I really couldn't relate.

Silver- I pay closer attention to dewpoint, which is typically in the 50's. When RH gets down into the teens, it gets my attention, but I'd guess "typical" is probably 20's and 30's during the day, and 80's at night... it did cool off very nicely last night.