Jay Cronley: Extreme heat becomes new normal
BY JAY CRONLEY World Staff Columnist
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
7/19/11 at 5:33 AM
So there I was, in the backyard with a hose, dollar signs along with the water coming out of the nozzle, trying to recall what the experts had said about the best times and amounts to water grass that could disintegrate anyhow.
The temperature was 103 degrees in the shade of an airplane heading northwest toward Oregon.
It was about 108, 109 in my backyard, where the only breeze had been caused by my male English springer spaniel's tail wagging when I let him back inside after he feigned a heat-related illness, extending his tongue farther out than ever before and plowing head-long into a wood fence. No dog can get heat sick in 45 seconds can he?
I seem to recall some Master Gardener having said on a television interview that tall grass holds moisture better, so mow less; probably phoned in that advice from an Alaska trawler.
Many in my neighborhood water at night, the obvious thought there being that less would evaporate when it has cooled off to a shadowy 95 degrees at 10 p.m.
But grass is not stressed then. Grass is under the most pressure at 4 or 5 in the afternoon when even the downtown meter readers dive for cover.
Coping mechanisms: In this, the summer of our disconnect, we must make do with half-degree victories, with wishing some of this heat onto some of them, with reminding the local TV meteorologists of their predictions of normal temperatures for the season, making this mess seem even worse.
Somebody said it was 100 degrees in Minnesota; have some, Vikings.
Somebody said that as bad as this was, it still beat the snow and ice from a few months back, which is debatable, as winter storms here seldom stay around for two months and cause widespread crop and livestock failure.
Somebody said that Monday it only got to 102 and a half degrees in the shade of a vulture swooping down for some remains, half a degree less than predicted.
Get the party hats.
Unthinkable: So I was there.
Time was, an hour had passed.
Getting used to 104-degree heat: Good or bad?
Original Print Headline: Extreme heat is the new normal