Friday, June 23, 2006
Triple Digits -- scorching hot temperatures
We had our electricity go out twice today -- which is not uncommon during our hot summer months. Living in the Central San Joaquin Valley, we hit triple digits quite often and when we do, we have blackouts and brownouts. Most last only a few hours but I do recall one that lasted a couple of days.
Today we hit 107. Tomorrow (Saturday) we should hit 109, and if so, will tie a record set in 1885 on this date with that temperature. Sunday's temps should reach 110! (all farenheit degrees)
I always enjoy seeing the huge thermometer in Baker, California (it is the entrance to Death Valley and is on my way to Las Vegas - a six hour drive from my home) The thing is made of 33 tons of steel, has 5,000 bulbs and is 134 feet high -- in honor of 134 degrees F -- the hottest temp ever recorded there, back in 1913.
The hottest temperatures I've experienced is 121 degrees farenheit -- Eagles Pass, Texas in 1968. I watched in horror as we stopped at a gasoline station for ice and witnessed a car pull up. An elderly lady was carried out. They laid her on the counter of the small store and started placing cold water cloths on her. I thought for sure she was dead. Three days later, the same thing almost happened to my sister. She ended up in an emergency room with IV fluids - she weighed only about 100 pounds and was totally dehydrated.
Summer can be quite harsh out here and several people die every year from it (dehydration mainly). I know it gets hot in Phoenix but somehow that's different because it's a dry heat.
What do you do on such hot days? We don't have a swimming pool but I do love to hit the mall, theater or the library on hot days. It keeps my own a/c down and I enjoy the cooler temperatures at someone else's expense. Sadly, it does not matter what we do, our electricity runs $500-600 a month during the summer. One month we were shocked with an $800-plus bill.
My babies (cats and dogs) are fine on such hot days. I bring them indoors. But if we aren't home, we have constant misters on all over the back yard. (cats always stay in)
My main concern is my mother and others like her. The elderly really suffer during these temps. I have to be extra careful with her.
Hot - Hot - Hot -- heat advisory says to stay indoors. I guess I'll have to do just that.