autumn, Cincinnati, heat index, humidity, Minneapolis, summer
I spend too much time thinking about just how flippin’ hot it is here, an unhealthy amount of time really, time I could choose to use in much more constructive ways. I ruminate about The Heat, working it over and over in my head like I will eventually figure out how to make heat and me get along. I have held off writing this post, for months, because I felt whining about the weather is hardly a candid thought worth sharing. Boo sweaty hoo.
Today, however, I sense I am close to my boiling point. It’s hot as hell, and I don’t want to take it anymore.
Yes, 2010 has been hot, as have many other places this year. We have not faced some biblical plague, nor catastrophic storms, just some ungodly number of Days Over 90 Degrees. Strung together. All in a long, long row. I try to count my blessings that we have not had destructive weather events wreaking havoc around here.
Days Over 90 Degrees is a popular statistic here, one that the local meteorologists banter around like their Minnesota counterparts tout the snowfall totals. They are also very fond of the concept called “Heat Index”, where some mysterious formula of factors tells you how incredibly uncomfortable you will really feel if you actually go outside when it is 97 in Cincinnati. I have my own personal “Heat Janendex”, which, for my own safety and the safety of others, I calculate myself before I consider stepping outside in the summer months.
The Heat Janedex can be calculated with this simple formula:
(HUM% + CLOUDY% + WV + UV + SAS + STBFHL) / (OZCAFF x GODIMHOT)
Which, if you do not know me, represents the sum of: % Humidity, % Cloud Cover, wind velocity, UV index, Smog Alert Severity and Smokey the Bear’s Fire Hazard Level, divided by the Ounces of Latte Consumed X Hot-Flash status.
(Now, who says you never use algebra again once you graduate?)
Roughly speaking, if it is 98 degrees in my driveway, my body will automatically calibrate to the conditions and make it feel like it is 103 thousand degrees. And I will turn around and walk back into the air-conditioned house.
After 10 years here, I have come to the conclusion that July in Cincinnati is my February in Minneapolis — a time for cabin fever, cooped up days inside, staring out the window at the poor fools who venture out “for fun.” I would rather be out in the yard in a raging snowstorm than when it is blaring sun and 99 degrees. I have Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder. I diagnosed myself, by the way.
CinciAugust is my MinneMarch — there are no delusions that the end is near, but with a couple of months under the belt, a reasonable person can buckle down for the long haul. The Dog Days. Still, there may be occasional glimmers of hope, a Minneapolis thaw, a Cinci day or two in the low 80’s, so easy to be lured into complacency…
Which brings us to CinciSeptember, my personal MinneApril — you know the month — where expectations run high for the next season to glide into place on schedule, with all due respect to the calendar… it is almost over… all is happy… I buy into the back-to-school ads showing smiling children mommies with sweaters draped jauntily around their shoulders, waving goodbye; the mums filling the garden stores, ready to be placed on front porches next to the pumpkins and corn stalks in a festive autumn display. Most years, CinciSeptember is the light at the end of the hot, weedy tunnel.
But alas, like MinneApril, it is that wave of expectations that blinds a person to the possibility of a soul-crushing return of unseasonable weather that is only supposed to happen once a century, but somehow it is the second time in four years that it happened again. It is that freak late season snowstorm that dumps four inches of snow on the tulips. It is the week of 90+ degrees that spans the official first days of fall. The days when the only use for a jaunty sweater would be to strangle a weatherman. (Metaphorically, of course.)
Here we are, several days into autumn, and the high today is once again predicted to be 90 degrees. Sigh. I am left feeling like the frog sitting in a pot of water. If the frog is dropped into a pot of boiling water, the frog will immediately jump out. If the frog is set in a pot of cool water, say in May, and then you slowly turn up the heat, and leave the heat on high for, say, 92 days, the frog will slowly boil to death and never realize what hit her.
Ribbbbettttt. Soup, anyone?
Apparently I am a northern girl at heart, and my current location just north of the Mason-Dixon line is my southern threshold for heat and humidity. And on that thought, I am done. I have said my peace with the heat. I can stop thinking about it now, no more whining, or ruminating. (This looks like a good place to note that I do not, ever, complain about the winter here, ever. I don’t want you to think I am a big whiny weather wimp. I don’t mind the dreary, it is the hot that makes me teary…)
And, this too will pass. The forecast says 70’s tomorrow, which means good weather for soup can not be far behind.