Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Some like it hot...

...but probably not as hot as it has been in the United States this past week. Heat wave records from Maine to Texas were broken in mid-July when temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit and higher, coupled with very high humidity, affected millions of people and strained power grids everywhere. According to the Washington Post, the "proximate cause of this heat wave was a huge ridge of high pressure at the upper levels of the atmosphere, which led to sinking air that inhibits rainfall and boosts air temperatures. The clockwise circulation around the High helped pump humid air northward from the Gulf of Mexico. The abnormally strong high pressure cell peaked in the central states on July 17 and 18, and then stretched eastward, moving the bubble of heat with it as the week wore on." (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/heat-wave-2011-stunning-national-statistics/2011/07/24/gIQAJ1FcYI_blog.html)


Are these extreme weather patterns signs of global warming? The answer depends on who you ask. Certainly many scientists interpret the data to support this cause, predicting that a permanent rise in summer temperatures will occur in the near future. (http://news.stanford.edu/news/2011/june/permanent-hotter-summers-060611.html) No matter what the reason for the heat is, we can only think of how to stay cool when the temperatures climb. Here are some ideas for beating the heat and humidity this summer.

Drink plenty of water. If needed, or if you need to be active in the heat, add electrolytes to prevent dehydration. Limit or eliminate alcoholic beverages, which are diuretics; they add to dehydration. So fill your wine glass with water, plenty of ice, and a splash of lemon or freshly squeezed lime rather than chardonnay.


Cool water is your friend. Keep a mister bottle of water in the refrigerator and use it to spritz a little cool water on your skin periodically. Keep a plastic bottle filled with water in the freezer and apply it to your ankles and behind your knees, cooling the entire body. Refrigerated, damp cloths can be used to cool pulse points on the wrists. Take frequent cool (not cold) showers.


Wear loose, lightweight clothing, preferably in cotton or linen - fabrics that allow moisture to evaporate from the skin. If you will be outdoors, wear a hat to protect your head and face from the sun's rays; this will also make you feel cooler in general.


 
Keep the heat out and the cool in. Close all curtains, shades and blinds on south-facing windows during the day, and open them at night. Shut off unnecessary electrical devices, such as computers and televisions; these items not only draw on overtaxed power systems, but they also emit heat to indoor air. Take advantage of cross-ventilation by opening windows strategically based on natural air flow, allowing any available breeze to cool a room naturally.

 
Get away from it all. If you don't have air conditioning, spend time in a public place that does. Now might be a great time to visit your local library to pick up a summer novel. Or take in a movie. If you can, take a trip to the beach where you can go for a swim and enjoy ocean breezes. Don't forget the sunscreen!
 

Stay cool, calm, and collected. Don't let the heat overwhelm your frame of mind. This is a good time to lay low, to slow down your busy schedule, and to spend time on rest and relaxation. Stroll gently on the beach and collect shells. Take a boat ride and catch the ocean spray. Or simply sit in the shade of your favorite tree while reading that book you meant to finish months ago.
 

 
Try to enjoy the summer despite the heat. Create some fond memories to last through the winter months. Before you know it, those lazy summer days will give way to busy fall schedules, holiday plans, and the short days of December. Stay cool - in both body and mind! Have a relaxing summer.

10 comments:

Dayna said...

finally a break in the heat for us...at least for a day or two.

Fused Glass said...

No break here still HOT down in the low country! Thanks for including my pendant in this great post!!!

yankeegirl said...

Great post and wonderful creations to go along with it. Thanks so much for including my watercolor! I feel cooler already!

Tinker Pixie said...

Lovely post and great finds! Liv, thank you so much for finding my shells :)

ZudaGay said...

wonderful post, Liv! We had a nice rain on Sunday and Monday was a normal temp, but the temps are heading back up for the rest of the week. We've had several heat related deaths...mostly elderly people...so sad!

Judi said...

Thanks for a great post! We are sitting in the 90s, but it's cool and cloudy out this morning, so I'm enjoying the change before it heats up later in the day!

Julie G. said...

It has been one HOT summer! Thx. for including my cool blue top (from my other store) along with all these other "cool" treasures!

MagdaleneJewels said...

Pefect blog to cool all of us off!
Your perfect items brought us all momentary relief from this HEAT WAVE! Great and "refreshing blog"!

Pam said...

Wonderful and helpful information about keeping cool in spite of the intense heat covering most of the U.S. Absolutely love the selections from the Boomers' shops to illustrate your information and suggestions. Great job!

glitznglass said...

Great post thanks for including my glasses, they do make great water glasses!