Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hot time .. not supposed to be summer in the city yet

April 29th, and it was 99 degrees today, at 3% relative humidity.

That's about 10 degrees hotter than our average for the day, and about 15% lower humidity.

Now, 99 is hot; but it's not TOO hard to deal with, thanks to air conditioning.

But the humidity, or rather the lack thereof, is actually a serious problem.

Most people have never been taught what happens to the human body at under 14% or so relative humidity.

See, when the moisture concentration of the surrounding air is so low; the giant sponge that is the human body gives up a lot of that moisture to said ultra dry air.

You can get dehydration and heat stroke sitting still in the shade; and it becomes essentially impossible to not be thirsty, even in the air conditioning, because the simple act of breathing (even through your nose), and opening your mouth, dries you right out.

Days like this I might drink two gallons of fluids (no coffee, and a mixture of fruit juice, diet soda, and water), and I still wont be fully hydrated; and again, that's in the air conditioning.

Your mucous membranes dry out, and your bronchial mucous thickens. You get coughs and sneezes just from the dryness. You also become much more susceptible to infections carried by dust and mold spores. Funny enough, because it’s so dry, (oh and did I mention kinda windy?) the dust and spores are much worse in the air.

Then theres the fact that you’re walking around in your own personal lightning storm from the static electricity; and your skin feels like old paper.

Oh how I so love living in Arizona (not that I'd rather be in this heat, plus humidity).