Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Dog Days of…June?

Yes, I know it’s supposed to be hot in New Orleans in the summer. But it’s only June, for crying out loud. Normally we get a few 100+ days in August, but not this early in the year! My thermometer has been hitting over a hundred degrees all week and it’s in the shade.


It’s been so hot that that streets are buckling. Two half-mile sections of Interstate 55 between New Orleans and our lake house have been closed after the road buckled under what state highway officials called “continued excessive heat.” I’ve never heard of such a thing.

There was a time not too long ago when it clouded up and rained here every day at 3:00; you could practically set your watch by it. It didn’t rain for long, just enough to cool everything down and water everyone’s garden. It also drove the humidity up so high you sometimes felt like you were going to drown just breathing, but it was part of the natural cycle of things. Read diaries from New Orleans in the 18th and 19th centuries, and they’ll talk about the daily afternoon showers.

Our afternoon showers have been MIA the past several years. Going to pick one of my daughters up from the airport this afternoon, I noticed the grass along the highway is turning brown. I have never seen that down here.

I do not like what this means for the temperature in the Gulf or the hurricanes that will be forming.


orannia said...

*crossing fingers that there are no hurricanes*

I know what you mean about the humidity. Here (Auckland, NZ) in the summer that humidity can be so high it's hard to find the energy to do anything! At the moment it's freezing, but at least we're past the winter solstice and the day length is (slowly :) increasing.

kmac said...

I grew up in New Orleans (many, many years ago) and remember only too well the afternoon thunderstorms that would take out the electricity and make us all feel like pieces of overcooked asparagus when the sun came out again. I live in Virginia now, and we have high heat and humidity, but nothing like that of New Orleans--it's a climate unto itself.

Lainey said...

It's the same here in Houston. Haven't had rain in my part of town since April 28th. My beautiful Spanish oak that's supposed to be Texas drought tolerant is dying. Temps predicted to be 100+ for the rest of the week.

cs harris said...

Orannia, freezing sounds really good about now. I didn't know you were a Kiwi, too; have you met Steve?!

kmac, love the "overcooked asparagus" image! It fits far too well.

Lainey, I was out watering trees today. I think we've had rain more recently than you all--that's awful.

Anonymous said...



Charles Gramlich said...

There's definitely been a change in the frequency of afternoon showers. I rememer it raining every afternoon when I first came here in the 80s, and thorughout the 90s. But now. Especially this year so far. We are burning up over here too.

laughingwolf said...

coldest/wettest spring/early summer i've seen in the 12 years i've been in nova scotia... could you send some of your heat this way? no need to include humidity, we have plenty :)

cs harris said...

Charles, I vividly recall those 3pm showers when I first moved here, as they always hit when I was having to go pick my daughter up from school. After being caught once in a flood I was forever terrified every time it clouded up.

laughingwolf, I'll give you some of our heat if you'll give us some of your rain! Normally by this time of year we have over thirty inches; we're barely hitting 20" this year. Yes, I know 20" sounds like a flood to some people, but we need rain to cool things off. The front page of the newspaper this morning had more road closures due to buckling.

Steve Malley said...

I always loved the way the streets smelled after those showers!

And sadly, I'm at the other end of the country from orannia and chap o'keefe. Come to think of it, *they* may be neighbours! :D

Amusing Bunni said...

Hi Candy:

I picked up some of your books at the library. I love the London period you write about, and Sebastian is such an interesting character.

I'm currently reading the Serpent Sings, I finished the one about the brothel being burned to hide the murders (title escapes)

Keep up the great work and I look forward to reading more from you.

It's awfully hot here in Chicago, too. I hope you don't get anymore bad hurricanes, stay safe.

orannia said...

Orannia, freezing sounds really good about now. I didn't know you were a Kiwi, too; have you met Steve?!

No....ummm...HI Steve *waves* I'm in Auckland - I'm guessing you're somewhere in the South Island?

And yes Candy, I'm a Kiwi. We pop up everywhere :)

cs harris said...

Steve, we actually had a teeny, tiny shower yesterday, and it actually did wet the street for two minutes.

Amusing Bunni, glad to hear you like the books! Thank you.

Orannia, I had the privilege of spending two weeks in New Zealand in the early 90s and fell in love. I've always wanted to go back, but I've never made it. Yet.

Steve Malley said...

Orannia, yes, I'm in Christchurch-- NZ's best kept secret! :D

Barbara Martin said...

It's been hot and humid in Toronto, but on the worst days we received rain via heavy duty thunderstorms and tornados spotted west of the city.

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