Heat Wave

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.

8 Responses to Heat Wave

  1. Gary Francis says:

    I’m like you Dick……I have no air conditioning in my home either. I do have fans but at 9am today they aren’t doing much good. The ice cream shop has air conditioning – mostly for the benefit of the equipment. We never had air conditioning at Glennie’s on the Blvd though when I worked there back in the 1960’s and early 70’s.

  2. Bob Forrant says:

    My strategy is to find air conditioned libraries and spend the day! But, after the fan route failed last evening – ugly, ugly – I was at Dracut Appliance at 8:00AM for a bedroom airconditioner. I have a very large old one in my basement I have not used in seven years I may also crank up to get the humidity out of my house.

  3. Lynne says:

    Hints…let’s see…get an AC? :)

    I have ones that have energy saver ability, so I can run them long term (especially in an enclosed bedroom) and they shut down and start up again periodically so as to save power – after all, reducing the humidity and lowering the temp a few degrees is about all you really need for comfy sleeping.

    I will admit, sheepishly, to using it a lot at night though. We have only the one window in our bedroom, taken up by the AC, so we can’t open it and let in any breeze…the AC has a fan-only option but it does really very little. So on low on energy saver it i,s for us…

  4. DickH says:

    Very perceptive re the time time of the high humidity report. It was on WBZ this morning at about 6 am.

  5. DickH says:

    I zipped into Logan Airport this morning (it only took 35 minutes – everyone is on vacation) to pickup someone arriving on an early flight from Florida. It seems that one of CNN’s top stories being shown down there was the hospitalization of the Lt Governor of Massachusetts as a result of marching in too many parades.