Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Weather Clichés, Tucson Style

This is my entry in the Round Robin Photo Challenge.  Subject: Cliché.  In doing this one, I'm totally wrecking an entry I had planned for later, but oh, well.

I'd love to have done a picture of a coyote howling at the moon in front of a giant saguaro cactus, which is as cliché as it gets in Arizona.   But no coyote has ever yet sat and posed for me, especially not in a residential neighborhood well within the city limits.  So on this first day of summer (second by the time this is posted), I'm going to talk about the weather.  After all, "Everybody always talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it."

"Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get" - Robert A. Heinlein, quoted on National Weather Service Tucson page

It's not the heat...

It's the heat!

Trust me: around here, it's mostly the heat.  This was an actual reading on my car's temperature display this afternoon.  We don't know exactly where the Eagle gets its readings, but it's probably from somewhere near the roof of the car.'s the humidity!

(Sorry I couldn't get better pictures of these gauges last night.  They turned out to be very hard to photograph, with or without flash.  The new photo is from Wed 6/22 at 6:22 PM.)

The temperature in the house was still over 90 degrees F at 11 PM, and the humidity  in the laundry room was up around 55%, according to this vintage set of gauges.  This humidity may be considered "normal" in most of the country, but usually around here it's more like 11%,except during the monsoon. 

Either way, frankly, 115 degrees is pretty darn hot.  No, it wasn't the official high temperature at the airport, but it was the official temperature of my car at 2:10 PM!

Here's what the NWS admits to as of fifteen minutes before I took that picture, plus the most recent reading.  Today's official high temperature was at both 12:55 PM and 1:55PM:

Time             Temp Dew Rel   Wind      Wind   Visib.  Clouds  Precip  24 Hr  24 Hr 
(MST)            (f)  Pt  Humid Direction
  (miles)        3 hour  Max T  Min T
21 Jun 11:55 pm  89   45  22    E         9      10.00   CLR     0       110    82
21 Jun 1:55 pm   109  45  12    E         17 G24 10.00   CLR     0.01

But it's a dry heat!

Cloudscape, June 21st, 6:45 PM.

Oh, really?  Does this look like a dry heat?  It is true that in May and June, the humidity is often down around 10% to 15%, but I find it kind of hard to breathe when it's hot and dry.  As we move toward the summer monsoon, the humidity starts to rise. Evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers, are a low-cost alternative to air conditioning around here when the humidity is low.  They cool off a room by evaporation of water, much as the evaporation of sweat is supposed to cool you off.  But when the humidity is high, there's less evaporation, and swamp coolers only make things worse.  We don't have evaporative coolers in this house anyway--or central air conditioning that works, for that matter.  Desktop Weather claims the current humidity (as of 12:20 AM on 6/22) is only 20%, but I don't think I believe that.  It also claims the temperature has dropped to 87 degrees now.  Oh, joy!

Oh, well.  Remember.  Every cloud...

Clouds as I leave work, June 21st, 6:30 PM.

...has a silver lining!

These are the clouds that greeted me when I finally got off work tonight.  (I had stayed late to finish a project that really needed to be finished by today.)  Today we actually had a few drops of rain, and it didn't cool things off at all.  The only good I'm getting from these clouds so far is a few decent pictures.

What silver lining?  June 21st, 6:45 PM.


Tucson Weather Conditions (NWS Tucson)
NWS Monsoon Info

Now go see what everyone else has done with this Round Robin Challenge!

Round Robin Linking List for Wednesday, June 22nd:

Kat... "From Every Angle" - posted!

Mary... "Alphawoman's blog"  - posted!

Aunt Nub (AKA) Liz..."Aunt NubsEmptyHead" - posted!

Celeste..."My Day and Thoughts" - posted!

Steven..."(sometimes) photoblog" - posted!

Monica..."Mamarazzi" - posted!

Becky..."Where Life Takes You" - posted!

Gypsy..."Gypsy's Journey" - posted!

Carly..."Ellipsis" - posted!

Alan..."F-Stop" - posted!

Kimberleigh..."Life as I live it" - posted!

Karen..."Musings from Mavarin" (well, duh!)

Betty..."My Day My Interests" - posted!

Duane..."sotto voce" - posted!

Nancy..."Nancy Luvs Pix" - posted!

Sharky..."Substance; or lack of"

Robbie..."Robbie's Ruminations" - posted!

Coy..."Dancing in the rain" - posted! and again!

Michael..."Confessions of a Madman"

Patrick..."A Stop At Willoughby" - posted!

Derek..."Picture of the Day" - posted!

Tess "First Digital Photos   - New!

Oh, and by the way here's a survey for bloggers, from MIT:

Take the MIT Weblog Survey



ondinemonet said...

Karen :)

Those cloud shots are fabulous! I love photographing clouds, we have had some pretty ones here this past spring...but these are striking. Excellent!

Always, Carly :)

sonensmilinmon said...

I see I'm not alone in taking pictures of the silver linings of the clouds! Loved the photographs and the challenge.


montaukny said...

I always wondered about that "dry heat"'s still friggin' 115!  Love the pictures, especially the clouds!

~Aunt Nub~

deabvt said...


demandnlilchit said...

I hate heat and bitting cold.......I'm a Spring/Fall kinda girl myself! Great cliche entry!

ryanagi said...

LOL Very good!

daephene said...

What I find about humidity is that 85 degrees in Iowa on a humid day feels like 100 degrees in West Texas, which always had low humidity.  But when it's 85 degrees in Iowa, it's probably close to 100 degrees in West Texas.  So it's not like we've got it worse.  In fact, on occasion we get low humidity like this week, so it feels like the high 80s, which is quite hot enough, but much better than 115 regardless of humidity.

Other than that, nice examples of a pretty broad theme.

rap4143 said...

You did an outstanding job, weather related cliche's

csandhollow said...

I remember those days of that so called wonderful dry heat! Actually I like it better than our humid heat!

tc01hm said...

Yikes, I understand humidity. So Louisiana hits 98 to 101 temps with 95% humidity! Love the gadgets!

mskatdabrat said...

Now THAT'S HOT!!!!!!

sepintx said...

I love humidity :-)
So many weather phrases and cliches. You and Coy are on the sides of the high pressure that's blocking all the rain here. Wish I had your skies!

krobbie67 said...

LOL! The times of been to AZ, I've heard the same thing..."But it's a dry heat." I like it hot and humidity to me makes it better but then I've always had A/C too. I was baffled by how many homes have swamp coolers. A/C and swimming pools is what makes it all bareable. Loved the pics of the sky. We don't get too many clouds during the summer. It really makes for a boring sky in my opinion.
:-) ---Robbie

madmanadhd said...

Soooo maybe I won't be able to move to AZ if most of the state has temps and humidity like yours. YIKES 115 hu? I am such a simp when it comes to heat and humidity. I tried to play tennis this morming and the temp was only 78 with 90% humidity. It nearly killed me... and my partner did! LOL Thanks for including me on the list, sorry I haven't been able to get an entry together. Life's been a bitch lately. Take care and stay cool!