Sunday, July 17, 2011
Just where ARE we, anyway?
In case you don’t live in a hot area right now, you might not realize just exactly how HOT it is in many areas.
Here in Minnesota, we have ‘wet’ heat, compared to ‘dry’ heat of places like Arizona. We have high humidity and also have high dew points. I know what it means to have a high dew point, but I looked it up for those of you who don’t live in an area with that measure of temperature.
The dew point temperature is the temperature at which the air can no longer hold all of its water vapor, and some of the water vapor must condense into liquid water. The dew point is always lower than (or equal to) the air temperature.
SOUPY AIR: When the dewpoint approaches 75 ºF, most people can "feel" the thickness of the air as they breathe, since the water vapor content is so high (about 20 grams of water vapor per kilogram of dry air, or 2% of the air's mass).
At high heat, high dew point temperatures, it gets hard to breath if you have any kind of breathing problems. It is also dangerous for those with heart problems. Those people should try to avoid the heat by being in air conditioning, if at all possible.
Dangerous, as well, for normally healthy people who have to work outside, so those people should wear light cotton clothing, drink lots of water, have salt (we eat salty dill pickles when we are outside demonstrating) and take lots of breaks.
Last night our weather man said that our dew point of 70º was higher than the jungles of the Amazon. Right now, at 3:00 on Sunday, the thermometer reads 93º and the relative humidity is 68% and the dew point is 79º. That means, boys and girls, that outside my house the heat index is 109º F! (Heb and other Canadians, that means about 45º C.)
I have a love/hate relationship with my air conditioner. I hate the closed windows, the noise and the cold air blowing. But I love the cool air in the house and the fact that we can sleep without melting into the bed. It has been running nearly continually - as it gets hotter, the house gets hotter as I keep turning the air “up” so it doesn’t run the whole time. Right now it’s 77º in the house, which is pretty comfortable - and the wooden floors are not wet - nor are the wooden chairs - which they were before I closed up the house on Friday and started the air.
This morning as I was doing chores, I swear I saw this bird laughing at me in the tree!
It’s a beautiful day - if’n you don’t have to be outside - you have a beautiful day.
at 4:01 PM