Damn, it’s hot: The relativity of temperature

Just another day in paradise…

I almost wrote this entry on Wednesday, when it had reached the upper 80s every day for a week. Then things returned to a more typical summer pattern (cool in the morning and evening), so you can cool the house down, and mid-70s to low 80s at peak).

Yesterday it hit 93. Today’s similar.

So what? Those aren’t high temperatures for the summer. Where I grew up (and where we were last Sunday), 105 is a fairly typical summer high. Many cities are much hotter in the summer.

The difference: Most houses in Mountain View, ours certainly included, don’t have air conditioning, because we don’t usually need it. And some houses–ours included–lack attic fans and have too much/too loose insulation to be able to install ones.

So when it stays hot, the house heats up and takes forever to cool down.

Sure, when I was growing up, we didn’t have air conditioning (but did have loads of shade), but I think I could tolerate indoor temperatures in the high 70s/low 80s better 45 years ago: Big surprise!

No, it’s not intolerable. (I’m not so much complaining as commenting.) It’s just that weather hereabout is usually so temperate that even mild “extremes” are unusual–which is also, to be sure, why most houses don’t have air conditioning.

When we got back from dinner yesterday at 7 p.m., it was 82 inside; we got it down to 79 by 10 p.m. We did pick up a column fan yesterday (and we do have ceiling fans in most rooms), and by getting up before 6 this morning, I got it down from 76 (natural cooling) to 72…but it was back to 75 by noon, and it’s 79–no, make that 80–now (3:45 p.m.).

That’s hotter than I’d like it inside. We’re crazy enough to walk to dinner again this afternoon, but you expect more heat outside.

I wonder whether people on Moorea feel chilled to the bone when it drops to 65?

6 Responses to “Damn, it’s hot: The relativity of temperature”

  1. Sarah Houghton (Librarian in Black) Says:

    Agreed! Growing up in Chicago, it wasn’t uncommon to have temperatures in the 100s for a few dozen days a year. But the air conditioning made all the difference. I too have been coping with the 90ish weather in a Northern California home. The thought of going to a movie I don’t want to even see or going shopping just to get into some A/C is a sad thing, but a reality these last few days.

  2. Daniel Cornwall Says:

    In my part of Alaska, a heat wave is defined as three days in a row when the outside temp exceeds 75 F.

  3. walt Says:

    You got one of those earlier this year, didn’t you? With Juneau temperatures in the high 70s/low 80s for several days running? I’m guessing you’re just as likely to have AC as we are: Not very.

  4. Ruth Ellen Says:

    Reminds me of the heat wave I read about a few years ago in the Scilly Islands. The temperature hit 70 F. and the people who lived there were dropping like flies.

  5. Daniel Cornwall Says:

    We did have one of those three days with high 70s stretches. We don’t have air conditioners and I whined to a very unsympathic LISNews audience. Of course, if I’d been in their shoes, I wouldn’t sympathize with me either!

  6. Dorothea Salo Says:

    In my office yesterday (I share a server closet with three people and a bunch of servers), the temperature hit 88.5 Fahrenheit at about 3 pm.

    Thank goodness the heat wave broke last night!


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