“What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.”
– Jane Austen
If Jane Austen’s estate hasn’t already trademarked “State of Inelegance”, I really think South Carolina should snag it as the state’s official summer slogan! Tourism may take a hit, but we could win a “Truth in Advertising” award, y’all!
On this first day of summer 2018, I’m happy to be writing from Pawleys Island, SC. I’m happy because of the people I’m getting to spend the week with, our beach house is right on the ocean, aaaand it has a very aggressive air conditioning unit!
Current temp: 91°
Heat Index: Same as the surface of the sun°*
*estimate (Actual 105°)
I lived my first 25 years in Charleston, SC, The Humidest Place on Earth™. Since then, I’ve lived in Green Bay, Miami, Los Angeles and Asheville. Each city having its own style, traditions, flavor and its own climate, literally.
On the Köppen Climate Classification System:
- South Carolina is “Humid Subtropical”. (No argument here!)
- Wisconsin is mostly “Warm-summer humid continental”. (Because “Go Pack Go” would have been weird)
- South Florida is “Tropical Monsoon”. (The only area in the US with this climate)
- Southern California is mostly “Hot-summer mediterranean”. (Also possibly a restaurant in West Hollywood)
- And much of Western North Carolina is “Temperate Ocean Climate” (which leads me to believe Köppen may have been smokin’ somethin’)
So, out of Asheville, Charleston, Green Bay, Miami or Los Angeles…. Any guesses in which city I experienced the hottest day of my life?
The coldest is pretty anticlimactic. Frozen Tundra, hello?
But it’s also the double winner! That’s right, with all my years of living in cities known for warmth, sunshine and botox, (oops, wrong list) the highest temperature I ever experienced was in Green Bay, Wisconsin! It was 1995 and a heat wave gripped much of the Midwest and East Coast. More than 1,000 people died as a result of the sweltering weather that summer.
During an average year, about 175 Americans succumb to the summer heat. In Milwaukee alone that year, there were over 150 heat-related deaths. The high temperature in Green Bay on July 12, 1995 was 102 degrees. Not the heat index, but the actual reading on the thermometer read 102°. Hot enough to fry an egg (with cheese) on a sidewalk! Though I’ve experienced days with higher heat index readings, (the “feels like” temperature) it took this southerner going “up north” to experience a temperature that high!
The latest outlook from the Climate Prediction Center, predicts much of the U.S. will have a hotter than average summer this year.
May yours be safe, fun and filled with comfort and joy (aka A/C) wherever you are. And if you are find yourself feeling “inelegant”, perhaps something from the WeatherVain summer collection will at least have you looking as cool as you’d like to feel.