Right now it is precisely 10:00:53 according to the atomic clock at the web site displaying the ‘official’ time for the US Eastern time zone. This important because with this information in hand, one may deduce that Summer in the Eastern United States will arrive in precisely seventy-three hours, fifty-nine minutes, seven seconds from when I posted that time. That gap will, of course tighten even closer as I continue to write this, and closer still by time you read it, assuming you do.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in conjunction with the National Weather Service (NWS), Punxsutawney Phil, and Leroy’s cousin’s best friend’s pet hamster Bubba’s knees, summer will officially (as opposed to the ‘unofficial start of Summer on Memorial Day) arrive at 10:16 AM the morning of 21st June, 2011.
I’m not entirely certain the arrival of the longest day of the year will even be noticed. After all, so far the first eighteen days of June have included half a dozen days when both my official at home Weather Channel personal weather station and WeatherBug’s local monitoring station in Tarpon Springs have recorded triple digit high temperatures and heat indices topping 130°, including two days with heat indices over 150°.
Heat Index is sort of the inverted version of Wind Chill. Using some formula I don’t really understand, temperature, wind speed and humidity are tossed into the weather blender and out pops the Heat Index – the measure of what it ‘feels like’ on your skin when you walk outside foolishly leaving the comfort of your air conditioned man cave. The term, like that of ‘wind chill’ is the weatherese equivalent of the Hallmark Holiday; a made up event, or in the case of wind chill or heat index, made up term to make ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ feel colder and hotter, and justify every local television outlet hiring an ‘NOAA Certified Meterologist’. The title is a technical term for an individual who stands gesturing in front of a green wall while watching a moniter to assure he or she is pointing at the right place when they tell you how hot or cold it’s going to be (or not to be), while at the same time taking credit for the beautiful sunny day as he or she is engaging in fill time of playful allegedly humorous banter with the news and sports anchors.
If the aforementioned individual were reading our local data stream to you right now, said individual would be telling you that the current temperature is 95.9° and the heat index is 117°.
It’s not a dry heat.
In fact, it’s actually more like a ‘make sure your gills are functioning’ sort of heat, driven by a five mile an hour breeze coming in from Orlando and probably generated by the passing of the Hogwarts Express at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios and Theme Park. So what we have here is a sweltering mid-August day cleverly masquerading about as the next to the next to the last day of Spring, and not doing a very good job of it.
The Atlantic tropical weather season, AKA the hurricane season, is into its eighteenth day, and has thus far been a bust, but then again, Hurricane Season has been sort of a tragic bust ever since someone at the National Hurricane Center decided that it was necessary to be politically correct and alternate genders and swim through cultures when naming tropical cyclones, the term used for Pacific storms so as not to confuse we who are mere mortals and can’t tell the difference between two of the exact same kind of storm, separated geographically from each other by the North, Central and South American continents. Not that I’m saying I want a hurricane, but a slow moving, temperature reducing, steady soaker of a tropical system would certainly offer some relief from the current monotony of not yet actually but still every bit as hot as summer late Spring in a year that has already seen record snow, cold, and rain in other places.
And we’re now down to less than seventy–two hours. Enjoy Spring while it lasts. I hear summers are real scorchers here.