Hot enough for you?
For some strange reason I checked the temperature today in Brawley, California, one of the many small towns in the Imperial Valley where I grew up.
It’s over 110 degrees Fahrenheit there as I write this. With a forecast for 123 degrees later today. The folks in Brawley sure know how to celebrate the summer solstice, don’t they?
Tragically, this assault on the mercury is not all that odd for June in the Imperial Valley. Just wait until July if you want to see some really lethal weather.
I live in the Bay Area now—thank god!—and I’m always amused when people panic or think they’re being punished if gets over 90 degrees. Seriously, folks? I wear a hoodie for 10 months of the year around here because it’s so pleasantly cool. And by “cool” I mean when it’s 72 degrees or less.
Now I can take the heat a little more than some, but I’ll admit 123 degrees is really fucking hot. When I was a kid in Brawley during the summer, we just didn’t go out in the middle of the day—that being after 9 a.m. or before 7 p.m. No, sir! Even the stupid children stayed inside hugging their air conditioner vents.
But 123 degrees? Step outside in an atmosphere like that and it’s as if someone rolled a Buick into your chest. Never mind that your lungs would be on fire if you could actually breathe then.
Still, it’s the rapid change in temperature from leaving the safety of even moderately cool interiors that will knock you on your ass. Or worse, send you tumbling forward unconscious for a face plant on pavement that might as well be on fire. I’ve seen this happen to people multiple times. It’s not pretty.
And realize that it’s not just eggs you can cook on the sidewalk when it’s that goddamn hot. You can pretty much fry a steak, too.
So, fellow Bay Area residents, please stop complaining about the weather. It’s not that bad. Yet.