Former UMass Lowell soccer player Danielle Niles, the AM weather reporter on New England Cable News, just told viewers that the temperature in Lowell today will reach 98 degrees with 80 percent humidity (To put that in perspective, the humidity level around here last Friday, a stunning day, was only 35 percent). Unfortunately, these conditions will continue at least through tomorrow. Most of the year, not having AC in our home isn’t a big deal, but I think I’ll miss it today. The usual drill is to open all the windows at night to let the cold air in and then close things up by mid-morning to trap the cool air inside and keep the warm air out. That strategy isn’t working today – at 5 am it was already stifling outside. But people survived without AC for centuries and I’m sure we will, too.
One person who had trouble with the heat this weekend was Lt Governor Tim Murray. Feeling poorly last night, he visited St Vincent’s Hospital in his home town of Worcester and was kept overnight for observation. Unfortunately for the Lt Governor, it’s a slow news day and every Boston TV station is doing live shots from outside the hospital this morning reporting on his condition. Politicians want to be seen as vigorous and physically fit so this episode departs from that script. I actually spoke briefly with Murray at the start of the Chelmsford parade yesterday morning. A big black SUV rolled up and out popped the 42 year old Murray and his two young daughters. He retrieved a twin running-style stroller from the back so not only was he planning to walk the parade, he was going to push a carriage with two kids in it. Murray was clad in the standard politician parade uniform of dress shoes, slacks, a long sleeved shirt and tie. He wasn’t alone – that seems to be standard procedure. It’s functional in a way because parade watchers almost intuitively know that anyone crazy enough to be wearing a shirt and tie while marching in a 90 degree parade has to be a candidate for office. But that type of outfit isn’t conducive to trotting along, shaking hands, and looking refreshed while the black pavement absorbs the sun’s rays and drives the temperature up even higher. Murray apparently made it through the parade OK and the other four parades he participated in over the long holiday weekend had already occurred (two each on Saturday and Sunday), so when Chelmsford was done, so was he – in more ways than one.
So stay cool today. Any hints for keeping comfortable in the heat would be appreciated. And if you’re planning to march in any future summer-time parades and you’re not a re-enactor or a musician in a band, consider shorts and a polo shirt for your attire.