Thursday, July 21, 2011

Heat vs. Humidity

Via WeatherBug for Android

That was what the weather was like where I am as of about an hour ago. Note the heat index,  humidity, and time of day. It's been a bit miserable to say the least. The thermometer at my house says 111, but I don't quite believe that.

The problem is the humidity. If I lived in the desert it would be hot, yes, but at 97 degrees you would not be feeling too bad (unless you were doing something very physically demanding), even at 105 or more. I know this from experience. You feel dehydrated and a bit tired, but it's nothing like how it is when the humidity is high. If you drink plenty of water and stay in the shade when the heat gets to be a bit much it's pretty bearable when it's dry.

Where I am, humidity over 75% is far from uncommon, and when you combine that with 95+ degree weather it gets bad. First of all, your sweat does not dry. No kidding. Sweating is an attempt for your body to cool itself, and if it won't evaporate it does nothing. It just sits on your skin and makes you feel warmer. This makes the heat very oppressive. There is nothing like those days where it seems as though you can feel the air. Even shade or drinking lots of water won't really help that much and most people just want to retreat into somewhere with air conditioning. Temperatures exceeding 90 degrees have also been known to continue even following sunset on some days.

Three minute potty break and he's already panting.
Heat advisories have been rampant this summer, with weeks of this sort of thing. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious concerns, especially in the very young and very old. I also worry about Ebon. He absorbs heat very easily because of his coloring and I am very careful to keep him cool. It's amazing how in conditions like this a dog will often begin panting almost immediately. I feel very sorry for the spitzes and other heavily coated dogs where I live. I would never own a dog like that here because it's really not fair to them.

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