Heat Wave

Heat Wave

We’re just finishing our 4th heat wave of the season. My recollection is that 2 is the usual number. The Greek meteorological service says July was the hottest in 110 years, and June was one of the hottest. I’m not sure how the meteorological service classifies a heat wave but it seems temps of 40 (104 F) or more on consecutive days does the trick. Our normal highs in July and August are 37-38 (99-101) so heat waves are not a huge departure but they seem to be just enough to make the heat unreasonable.

The combination of a sun that feels like a giant directed-energy weapon and the high air temperatures transfers a lot of  heat to virtually everything in the environment, turning the buildings, the roads, the trees, the dirt, even the seas into passive solar radiators. Walking around at night one experiences the unusual (for me) sensation of heat radiating from below.  And I can tell when I’m approaching the front wall of our building with my eyes closed.  This radiation from the environment keeps the nighttime temps relatively high, even in the absence of high humidity. The normal low is about 25 (75), and we haven’t seen a morning low below 22 (69-70) in 2 months.

The heat is one reason why we advise against visiting in July and August. This photo was shot about 3pm on August 27. The probe is 3 inches below the surface of the beach. I did the same measurement at the end of July and the temp was 105.  I recorded a water temp of 80-82 that day and, having left the probe on my beach towel while I swam, I observed a reading of 130 when I returned.  I shudder to think about the interior of the car in mid-afternoon.

Now, with the solstice 2 months past and August rolling to a close, we are looking forward to the return of the west wind, the occasional cloud overhead, and maybe a little cool, cool rain.

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