August 07, 2003
The British complain when it’s all cold and rainy, and they complain even more when it isn’t:
Sometime tomorrow, in southern England or the Midlands, the mercury in the thermometer may pass 37.1C, which became the national record when registered in Cheltenham on 3 August 1990. That centigrade peak translates as 98.8 Fahrenheit, so the remarkable figure for Britain of 99 or even 100F- is on the cards.
A record would be hugely significant - a three-figure Fahrenheit temperature for the UK would be breaking psychological as well as new meteorological ground as it would give many people for the first time the perception that global warning is a real, not a theoretical phenomenon - and that it is happening to them.
A single 100-degree day and they’re proclaiming the end of the world. In Australia we don’t even roll up our sleeves until it hits 120.
Posted by Tim Blair at August 7, 2003 03:22 AM
Whiners. We've previous Summers here in New Jersey where the temps stayed above 95 degrees for 30 straight days. I'm surprised that it's never gone over 100 before in the UK.
It's a lot hotter where I am........
The British have no infrastructure to cope with heat, however. There is a distinct lack of airconditioning, and inability to cool drinks properly, and the cold weather English chocolate melts. It really isn't pleasant in London right now.
I was reading some of the stories and it appears one reason they are having a huge problem coping with the heat is lack of airconditioning. In countries where it's normal to have the temperatures 90+(F) in the Summer, most offices and mass transit systems are airconditioned. I was surprised, but should not have been, to learn this isn't the case in the UK.
If you read some of the comments on the BBC's 'Have Your Say' section, as well as read some of the stories you'll see folks complaining due to lack of a/c where they work. That can be brutal in a heat wave.
I recall about 30 yrs. ago, when I worked during high school, the office I worked in had no a/c. It was on the 6th floor of this hugh warehouse like building. We had tiny fans for the summer. It got very hot in the office during heat waves. Sometimes you'd feel almost ill it became so hot.
You did adjust to it as the summer went on. But, if you're unused to this hot weather and have no a/c it's gotta s**k!
And on the East Coast of the U.S., where it's normal to stay in the 90's most of the summer and to hit 100 more than once, we're having cooler and very rainy weather. I live in the Richmond, Virginia, area, where it's normal to run the air conditioning for ALL of July and August, and at least half of June and September. I don't think I've had my A/C on for even 2 weeks this summer, and when it was on it was more for the humidity than the heat. Mid-80's (Farenheit) all this week and into the weekend (nights in the high 60's).
Guess our regionally cooler than "normal" weather is also caused by Global Warming (TM)!
Hey! I'm from Richmond, VA., too. My Electric bills have been significantly lower this summer because I haven't had to run the a/c very much.
well, let's see, since we're having london weather here in new jersey (i.e. it's been raining since may, i think)i guess the world is, indeed, ending. now where can i get me some bangers and mash...
Well I'm British and I've got to say the discomforting heat is somewhat compensated for by lots of girls walking around with very few clothes on.
Here in the great heartland of the US I've seen a week of temperatures above 100 and two striaght weeks when the temperaure never got above 0. I've lived in Florida, Alabama, Virginia and Missouri, and each of them claims to have the hottest, most miserable weather anywhere.
I was in the Anza-Borrego desert a week ago and it was 115. Great time to refuse to get out of the car if you ask me. If you chaps don't break a sweat until it reaches 120, I am impressed. But that crap about it being a dry heat is just that -- crap. 115 is miserable, even in the shade. I will definitely not be retiring to Arizona.
As for this report, it always amazes me when a single data point anywhere is extrapolated into proof of global warming. So, if it's 85 in St. Louis on August 6, does that mean that my (longitudinal) hemisphere is headed for another ice-age while the Brits get all the global warming?
"global warNing" - from Auntie Independent...
It's currently a comfy 82 with a nice breeze here. Usually it would be about 100, stagnant and so frikken humid you'd want to skin yourself with a potato peeler. I don't see any problem with global warming. Just because Europeans find it personally inconvenient, doesn't mean it's a bad thing.
Funny how most of the moans are comming from a/c colonials in the UK. The only riposte I can think of is that sydney has the coldest winters I've ever experienced.
I've been told by people who've come from places where it's hot and dry that it's much easier to tolerate than hot and humid. Granted, 144(F) in the shade would feel horrible if it were dry, it would also, I bet, feel *worse* if it were 90+% humidity as well.
I love a summer day when it's 80(F) or so and the air is nice and dry. Wonderful!! Too bad they are spoiled by the humid days where you never feel quite dry except where the a/c is.
Here's a weather forecaster in Wilmington Ohio (July 4 1999) having trouble with the heat. They don't have live forecasters anymore, unfortunately. http://home.att.net/~rhhardin/weather.ra (63k)
Tell me it doesn't get hot. This is a pro. I saved it because of stranious activities. There was another guy who for years talked about foilage in the ag reports.
The only reason I ever turn on my A/C is to keep my room full of 12 computers cool.
Time for that good old "I remeber when" speach.
I remember when, about five years ago, Perth had one of the hottest summers in decades and I'd just moved there. I was in my crappy appartment with only a fan for company and we had about a week to ten days of 40+C days in a row, then it'd drop below 40 for a couple of days then back up again. It was the only time I ever looked forward to winter (which is a relative term in Perth). Now I'm back im Melbourne and snigger when someone complain that it's reached 30C.
I remember when Australian cars had no air conditioning and black vinyl seats. In summer you could fry eggs on the seats. What in the name of God were the car companies thinking?
Very true michael, Mum used to have a HR Holden, when we went anywhere in summer we had to open the doors for a good 5-10 minutes to make it bearable before getting in. Ahhhh, gone are the days.....
Ever been to the UK in a "heatwave"? You need welding goggles to prevent snow-blindness from the acres of puffy bleached white flesh that is sprawled around every bit of open space. Paris is worse- the French seem allergic to soap and water, and the Metro in peak hour with Gallic armpits at full hoist is not fun.
We hit near 40 for a few weeks in Brisbane this summer, with near 100% humidity.
These sooks wouldn't know shit about heatwaves.
Why didn't you buy your mum a set of orange and black swirly-patterned stretch terry-towelling seat covers?
I recall that week. I had just moved down to Perth from Darwin so I thought I was pretty aclimatised to heat. I was working in an office with no aircon and a tin roof tacked on the side of a building. Anyway, one afternoon I was sitting their sweating and thinking to myself "Fuck this is Hot". I then strolled out and said to another guy "Is it hot or is it just me?" and he kindly informed me that it had just hit 43C.
Try being an Australian Army Leopard Tank Crewman. The Leopard is designed to be toasty warm on the German plains in winter. In the Northern Territory of Australia the internal temperature gets up over 50C easily, and that is in the cooler dry season. you don't go out in them in the Wet season because a. they get bogged and b. it's too fucking hot and humid. You drink 5 litres a day easy. My record was about 8 litres.
There was an old joke at the airport when I worked there- "how can you tell when British Airways has landed? The whining keeps going after the engines are shut down".
Here in Maine, each of the past three winters and summers have been colder than the one before. I haven't even bothered to put my air conditioner in the window this summer.
My liberal buddy at work was blaming it on global warming. I said, "Are you saying global warming makes it cold?" He said yeah, and started talking about melting icebergs and whatnot. I said, "Let me repeat myself - are you saying global WARMING makes it COLD?"
He still didn't get it. It's like a religion, isn't it?
"How can you tell when British Airways has landed? The whining keeps going after the engines are shut down."
I married into a British migrant family and everything they say about the Brits is true.
They whine about everything. They even whine about what happened to them when they landed in Australia in 1960.
Like, all around them, Greek and Italian migrants are kissing the ground and making plans to get rich in their adopted country, and all the Brits can do is complain about the weather, the flies, the food (the food???!!!), the standard of accommodation, the other migrants, the Australians, you name it.
Like, go back to the Clydeside or the Yorkshire mines or the back streets of Leeds already!
In Germany state workers in the capital Berlin were given the right to leave their desks once temperatures hit 29 degrees -- which they have -- on the grounds that working conditions are too difficult. It was unclear how many were taking advantage of the rule.
For those of us still living in the past, that's 84 degrees. No wonder the Germans were once into slave labour in a big way.
Like, all around them, Greek and Italian migrants are kissing the ground and making plans to get rich in their adopted country, and all the Brits can do is complain about the weather, the flies, the food..
I swear, I have never tased better chips than down under. Even the chips from KFC were superb.
The Greeks opened fish & chip shops and cooked the freshest fish and crispest chips in the world, the Italians opened market gardens and grew the best vegetables in the world and the Brits deepfried Spam.
Here in sunny California, once you get a little away from the coast, you can expect 40ºC weather intermittently through the summer. There will be no rain between April and October, so the humidity is low, but not extraordinarily low.
Further inland, you can expect a couple of weeks of 45º+ weather. However, any given summer day (June through September), it might be 25º in San Francisco, a couple degrees warmer in Oakland, across the Bay, and 40º in Lafayette, a few miles further inland, at the same time.
Pooh, the old HR went the way of the Dodo years back but thanks for the idea, fluffy dice anyone?
Razor, I was working in a steel storage shed doing stock control at the time. There were 3 of us stuck in a slightly air-conned "office" the size of a large toilet. It was actually cooler outside in the shade than in that God forsaken hell pit. Let's hope no-one starts a war with us during the wet season!
You want chips? Sorry to say it, but go to France, where they invented 'em. Incidentally, the souvlaki there is orders of magnitude better than the stuff they dole out in Oz. Hey, ask for the "sandwich grec frites" -- delicious.
Would that be Freedom Frites and Surrender Souvlaki?
Actually I believe that that the Belgians invented chips. But you are correct, they're nothing more than Frenchmen in drag.
Ah, so, it's the "All French are girly cowards" argument. Brill.
You're right,it's off subject and je regrette. Vive le France. We're meant to talking about Les Rosbifs.
Where exactly is "le France", Poohpy?
Yes Buddy, The french *are* girly cowards. Where have you been? Besides the Germans make the best Pomme Frites and their Giro Pita kicks arse.
make that Giros Pita,
my spelling still sucks.
That would be "pommes frites", Mr Jake. Also, D2D, your status as a fried potato historian is fried. Try a "book". Do you remember them?
Oh, and while we're at it, "fries" were invented as a cheap feed for Napoléon's rampaging army which scared the absolute arsecrap out of the crowned heads of Europe. But I wouldn't expect any of you bright boys to remember this.
Dry heat is definitely better than wet heat. Here in UMEC™ we recently shifted into the humid part of the summer. Even though the temps went down 5-10 degrees, the misery index went way up. Today and tomorrow should be dry days, but saturday the humidity should be back with a vengeance.
Give me the dry heat any day!
Mr Blair exactly when did you personally spend one minute in a place experiencing 120 in the shade. I doubt you've been out of the city in a long time - unless it was at 30,000 feet. Maybe you should stick to politics as you sure know zero about the earth sciences.
Said it before and I'll say it again, my spelling suck and so do the french. At least I can improve. Stop Buddy, your supreme (check my spelling for me will you house boy) correctness is underwhelming (check that too, good lad).
Did I mention the french? They suck.
37.1C/98.8F. Was that with the wind chill factored in? As is said in here in Texas, "It's summer, it's supposed to be hot, why is that news?"
Every site has an "I'm special" anal retentive pedant.
Too true ZsaZsa. For the record it was a pleasant 8-10C this morning on the ride in to work with the sun shining. I love Friday mornings like that.
'"fries" were invented as a cheap feed for Napoléon's rampaging army which scared the absolute arsecrap out of the crowned heads of Europe'
the army or the chips, Buddy?
I understand potatoes were brought by the Conquistadors from South America to Spain and I'm sure someone along the way managed to fry one or two before Napoleon's chef laid his hands on the old zig-zag knife.
"A record would be hugely significant - a three figure Farenheit temperature for the UK would be breaking psychological as well as new meteorological ground as it would give many people for the first time the perception that global warming is a real, not a theoretical phenomenon - and that it is happening to them."
The galling thing is that this is presented as a reasonable reaction, instead of as the towering monument to sloppy thinking that it is. Putting aside the fact that one hot day matters to global warming the same way French deoderant matters to the world economy, how can anyone possibly think 100 degrees proves anything about global warming that 99 degrees doesn't? Is nobody teaching these people to think? If this story is correct about how Brits will view this, it nothing more than an advertisement for school vouchers.
One other thing: why is it that when something happens that is in line with global warming, it's news? Just wondering.
43.7 here today, High humidex.
Better than -45c, which is comming in a couple more months....