From “duh” to “dang, now I know!”

Dear Weather Services: Tell us sumthin’ we don’t know.

And they do.

Excessive Heat Warnings.

Here in Phoenix, Arizona, They amuse. Make me giggle.

“Yeah, dudes. Duh. We know it’s hot! We live in a desert! Triple-digit temps for 5, 6 months in a year.”

Excessive Heat Warnings are like pop-up ads. The content — temperature — may vary but they remain persistent from April to October.

So I barely blinked today when another — yawn –Excessive Heat Warning popped up — for tomorrow, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., temp up to 114 (45.5).

Today’s 110 F. (43.3 C.) . Last weekend was 116 F (46.6 C).

Hardly earth-shattering, 114 (45.5) mañana.

So I did some digging for the “science” behind Excessive Heat Warnings.

The national and local weather services have defined standards and criteria for advisories, watches, warnings and so on. They are location specific.

While it seems otherwise in Phoenix, warnings not randomly tossed out for our anxiety, amusement or terror.

An Excessive Heat Warning locally is “a period of very hot temperatures, even by local standards.” (ha, love it!) “Actions should be taken to lessen the impact of the extreme heat.”

Excessive Heat Warnings are issued per two criterion:

  • When heat is notably higher than the norm for that time of year;
  • When the temp, though not above a norm, persists for consecutive days that exceed the norm.

So degree and/or duration dictate Excessive Heat Warnings.

Thus is explained tomorrow’s warning.

Based on a handy-dandy daily temp graph online:

On July 19, the temp typically ranges — quote — from 104 (40 C.)  (HA!) and is rarely above 111 (43.8) — unquote. (Double-dip HA!)

So yeah, 114 (45.5), official criterion met.

Heat warnings are a dime a dozen and easily spotted as top headlines or alerts boxed in blazing red.

They don’t alter my actions a whit. It’s damn dry and hot. I know this — painfully all too well, es no bueno for a water baby.

Whether it’s a frostbiting 100 (37.7) or inferno 122 (50 C.), I ain’t gonna slip on Adidas shorts and New Balances and go jog!

Hell, even evening strolls delayed ’til latest possible hour demand grit and determined commitment to exercise! A 107 (41.6 C) at 7 p.m. (discounting island heat) ain’t exactly cool.

What is cool is knowing the science behind Excessive Heat Warnings.

I went from giggling “duh” to “dang, now I know — and am glad for it!”

Does knowledge make ’em any easier to swallow?


Fewer “duhs” and giggles perhaps, yeah …


Talk to Me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s