There’s hot news other than a damned virus, believe it or not!
Today — April 22 — the temperature struck 90 F. (32.2 C) here in Phoenix, Arizona, for the first time this year.
It only gets worse. Hotter. Rapid-fire.
On Saturday, we crack the significant 100 F. (37.7 C) mark. It’ll hit 102 F. (38.8 C).
Come Sunday bloody Sunday, April 26, it rises to 104 F. (40 C).
Note: In APRIL!
April. While most states are celebrating the return of the sun, warmth, blooming buds, opened windows and shedding of heavy coats, Phoenix is lurching into its Bake-Off.
In April. That’s just WRONG.
We enter a lockdown of a different color … from May to October when, coincidentally, Phoenicians do all they can to be indoors and NOT outside.
Our windows are ever shut. Blinds and insulating blackout curtains are drawn.
Air-conditioners and fans are run 24-7. Electric bills spike — some as high as a monthly rent or mortgage payment.
People die: from heatstroke. In this Valley of the Sun, you’re at greater risk of succumbing to a furnace than a virus!
We spend 5-6 months in Triple Digits.
Thus that yearly initial tap at 100 (37.7 C) is a a big-font headline splashed across a front page. It generates as much dialogue as an assassination attempt and dread as the spread of a virus.
All too fast, that landmark 100 F. (37.7 C) burns to ash. Enter a new norm of: Fahrenheit 105 … 110 … 115 … 120 (Celsius 40.5 … 43.3 … 46.1 …48.8). In summer’s peak, the midnight low will be 100 (37.7 C) — albeit higher due to heat retention in the vast sea of concrete and metal.
These are meaningless numbers for most people.
“Greek to me” says a lifelong resident of Alaska. Fair enough.
I can’t claim to know what their -30°F / -35°C feels like.
BUT! — a crucial BUT! — I’ve lived in a very broad spectrum of climates, including Snow Country in Idaho and Colorado. So I can imagine and appreciate that extreme cold — as well as the extreme heat of say a Saudi Arabian desert.
A life of extensive movement, travels and lives in the U.S. and abroad and more addresses than I could recount have gifted me with awe-inspiring depth of experience and wisdom — weather wisdom among them.
Okay, so you don’t know what a dry 116 F (46.6 C) feels like every day for two months. But you can virtually sample it:
Turn on the oven — lowest temp please to be safe.
Open its door.
Face the oven.
Do not move. Do not adjust the heat. Do not reach for ice cubes or bathing suit.
Live with it.
Ease the suffering. Invite Betty Crocker over for months of marathon baking!
It all begins officially in three days on April 25.
The hot news from southern Arizona on this day of April 22. 2020.