Really, I have no intention of turning this into a "weather blog" to continually write about the weather! It is just that this has been an extraordinarily HOT summer and it has given no sign of cooling off!
Yesterday, 8/28/11, Austin reached a high of 112, which tied our ALL-TIME HOTTEST temp from Sept. 5, 2000, and also set a new ALL-TIME high for August (previously: 110 from 2003.) It also ties with my own personal All-Time Hottest temp of 112 when I was in Phoenix in July some years ago.
Today, Austin, has set a new record for most triple digit temperature days in a year. Today is the 78th day of 100+ temps during 2011. Of course, with the 10 day forecast continuing to have us with highs above 100, this heat wave ain't over yet!
We easily sailed past our previous record of 21 consecutive days of triple digit temperatures for Austin, to set a new record of 27 days on August 12, 2011. Of course, high temps of 95-99F are certainly no cold front, but it's enough of a drop to mess with the accumulation of consecutive triple digits....even though it sure doesn't feel a bit cooler.
Once you get to this point, the numbers become a kind of measure of our survival skills or something. The individual days are just hot, 112 doesn't feel all that much warmer than 108, and everyone is feeling the heat. People like Mikey (who are always hot anyway, are seriously suffering when they are outside. But then they don't go outside much!
I read that the world record holder for the longest heat wave was 160 days, but I can't remember where that was. It doesn't matter though, 160 days is pretty close to six months!! And 78+ days is not quite half of that! I doubt that the 160 day world record is any danger of being toppled by Austin's heat, but it sure makes you realize that 78 days isn't the worst it coul be!
Remember all that kvetching I was doing about not having functional air conditioning? Well, let me tell you, my dears, it got fixed just in time!! Our new unit has been totally on top of it! Thank you, Carrier!! You make a heck of an Air Conditioner!!
One thing that we have learned though. In our air conditioned world, you can survive the heat, no matter how much you complain! But everything needs water!
Much more serious and worrisome is the drought! We haven't had more that a cupful of rain at any given time for months and months and months! Livestock suffers, crops die, wildlife does what it must to find water. I wish I had some photos, but if you google "Texas Drought" for 2011, you will see some images that make parts of Texas look like another planet! According to Time magazine. 93.9% of Texas is in some sort of drought conditions. And we all know how much "Texas" there is! Makes for a LOT of drought!
Hazardous conditions all around make the entire area a danger zone for fire and rightfully so! There were 15 homes burned to the ground in a wildfire that consumed a couple of blocks in a nearby town a week or two ago. It's scary!
Everything is so dry. They have finally resorted to mandatory water restrictions. You can instantly tell who waters their lawn and who does not! Being able to water only one day a week will soon make everyones' lawn brown!
We need rain, again! Just like we did a couple of years ago....only worse!
[If this all sounds a little familiar, it's because conditions this year are pretty much a repeat of the summer of 2009. I wrote about it here: http://mellodeemusings.blogspot.com/2009/08/heat-wave-part-ii.html Go see what I mean!]
Watching the news and hearing about the recent conditions brought about by Hurricane Irene along the Coastal states, especially seeing the flooding and rain and all that water that was driven inland, just made Texans want to grab a bunch of buckets and collect that flooding water and bring it to our desperate farmers and vanishing lakes. Ironic, isn't it?
If we don't get rain soon, the "dust bowl" used to describe conditions in and around Oklahoma in the 1930s could very well make it's next appearance here in Texas. Without water to hold everything in place, even the soil just blows away.
Say a prayer for all Texans who so desperately need rain.