Sunday, July 31, 2011

Temperatures ‘Higher than Normal’ for Season

There is a phrase I’ve learned to dread during evening news, namely “the temperatures will be higher than normal for the season”. July and August are the hottest months in Israel (see chart). With an average temperature of 32C (90F) and 70% humidity, anything “above normal” spells trouble.

Avg. tempratures in Israel

Maybe Al Gore was right and the world is getting warmer. Maybe I am just getting older and softer. But there is a general consensus: it is HOT and HUMID. Looking for a free Sauna treatment? No need to look for a Groupon - just step outside.  Or better yet, turn off the A/C in the room.
I must admit that California, and particularly the San Francisco Bay Area spoiled me. Silicon Valley is situated right next to a large body of water and between mountain ranges. I am no meteorologist, but it seems that the special geography of the Bay Area created a moderate micro-climate. It is not too cold in the winter and it is not too hot in the summer. You can easily get used to it and forget that the rest of the world is different…
One winter I got on a flight to Colorado wearing just a light jacket. It was all I needed in Silicon Valley, but it nearly got me frost bites in Colorado. One summer I got on a flight to Phoenix Arizona and the “furnace-like” heat was a far cry from the Silicon Valley breeze I experience an hour earlier.
But I am in Israel now, and it is the infamous July/August season. Life is bearable before 7:00 am and after 10:00pm. However if you need to be away from A/C any other time during the day – run for cover! It is a survival game where you sprint from your air-conditioned house, to the air-conditioned car, to the air-conditioned office… and back. Should you find yourself trapped outside an air-conditioned zone - prepare to get wet; soaking wet. Make sure you pass through a shower and change your clothes before your next move.
Night time isn’t tranquil either; it raises the debate of: “to A/C or not to A/C”?  Some people can’t sleep when a cold wind is blowing over them. They have nightmares of being stranded in Antarctica and wake up with a sore throat. Others can’t sleep without the A/C in full blast. I leave it for you to guess who’s winning that one.
Back to Al Gore: If you have seen the movie “Inconvenient Truth” you appreciate the dangers of Global Warming. If there’s even a small chance that our actions accelerate Global Warming , than we’d better do something about it quick. If you doubt that – come to Israel in July…

1 comment:

  1. A week ago, I was in New York City. 110 degrees F. And at NY humidity. Not pleasant.

    That said, we have to be careful in associating our observations with global warming. If it's valid to say these temperatures suggest Al Gore was right, it's equally valid for Climate Change deniers to point at a fall in temperatures or a low-hurricane season.

    Here's my anecdotal observation: When someone says "Wow, we sure are having weird weather this year," notice that people say that every year. Instances of "weird" weather aren't weird at all.