From guest blogger Sean:
About Chicago's recent weather—today the temp in Oneida is expected to hit 36°C (97°F). Some areas will likely see 38°C (100°F) or more. I don’t think I've ever seen it this hot in this area before, not in almost 36 years. But after last summer, which was the hottest average summer yet, we really don't want more heat here.
At least we aren't merely baking, though; we're broiling: July finished with an official monthly precipitation total of just over 10 inches. In one month. My tomato garden is now a rice paddock. The water table around my house has risen to just below the two-foot mark. And yet the NWS is telling President Bush the evidence for global warming is "inconclusive?" Excuse me, when upstate NY has already seen over a dozen 32°C (90°F)-plus days this year as of August 1st and this much rain, and the Midwest is another Dust Bowl, and the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica continues to erode at an alarming rate, I think there's more than enough conclusive evidence for global warming. How much is human-caused and how much is a larger natural global cycle, now that's the real question, but come on, I think we can draw some very clear conclusions here.
On another and unrelated note, we picked almost 9 gallons of blueberries last week and we’ve just started harvesting blackberries from the pasture—over 2 gallons there yesterday and we can expect many, many more over the next month. The apple trees—which I aggressively pruned—are bearing a nice harvest of fruit. Too bad my tomato plants are flowering at less than half size and speaking Vietnamese. Well, that means next year we create raised beds with better drainage. And dig out the pond as planned.
Sean is a teacher and farmer in Oneida, N.Y.
Update, 18:00 UTC: You can see more of Sean's agony at the experimental Weather Now history page.
As threatened, it hit 37°C (99°F) in Chicago today, making it possibly the hottest July 31st on record. We won't know for sure until tomorrow.
From July 1st until today the average high temperature in Chicago was 29.6°C (85.3°F), modestly above normal, but not quite like those in Jamie's and Angela's home cities, which were 32.2°C (90°F) and 32.4°C (90.4°F), respectively. As Angela pointed out, this is much more normal for Atlanta than it is for here, but that doesn't make it any more pleasant in either city.
Last year, despite an all-time July high of 38.2°C (102°F) in Chicago, the average July highs for Atlanta, Chicago, and Raleigh were 30.4°C (86.7°F), 30.2°C (86.4°F), and 33.8°C (92.8°F), respectively, which were much closer to normal for all three.
But let's review. The average daily high temperature for June in Chicago was 25.9°C (78.6°F), which I think we can all agree was much more pleasant. And, moreover, we chose to live in Chicago, not anywhere South of the 40th parallel, for precisely this reason.
Oh, and another thing: at this writing, it's 34°C (93°F) in Raleigh, 33°C (91°F) in Atlanta, but 37°C (99°F) here. So, yes, my dear Southern friends, it's really quite warm in Chicago right now.
The National Weather Service had this to say three hours ago:
URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL 517 AM CDT MON JUL 31 2006
HIGH PRESSURE WILL REMAIN DOMINATE OVER THE ATLANTIC OCEAN SOUTH OF 30 DEGREES LATITUDE THROUGH THURSDAY. THIS WILL CAUSE SOUTH WINDS TO BRING HOT AND HUMID AIR INTO NORTHERN ILLINOIS THROUGH LATE TUESDAY NIGHT.
...EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM CDT TUESDAY...
THIS HOT AND HUMID AIR WILL PRODUCE A HEAT INDEX OF AS HIGH AS 109 TO 112. THESE ARE DANGEROUS WEATHER CONDITIONS WITH THESE NEAR RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES. YOU COULD BE AT RISK FOR SUN STROKE ...MUSCLE CRAMPS AND HEAT EXHAUSTION. IF YOU ARE EXPOSED TO THESE CONDITIONS FOR A LONG TIME OR ARE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE YOU COULD SUFFER HEAT STROKE.
THE DURATION OF THIS HEAT EVENT IS PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS TO PEOPLE WHO ARE HEAT SENSITIVE...THE ELDERLY...THE VERY YOUNG AND THOSE WHO ARE CHRONICALLY ILL. THESE PEOPLE SHOULD STAY IN AIR CONDITIONING IF POSSIBLE OR SEEK AIR CONDITIONED SHELTERS.
TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTION IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE OUTDOORS. DRINK PLENTY OF NON-ALCOHOLIC LIQUIDS AND WEAR LOOSE FITTING...LIGHT COLORED CLOTHING. WEAR A HAT AND SUNBLOCK TO PREVENT SUNBURN. IF POSSIBLE SPEND TIME MORE TIME IN AIR CONDITIONED OR WELL VENTILATED BUILDINGS. PROVIDE WATER AND SHELTER FROM THE SUN FOR YOUR PET.
RESIDENTS OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO SHOULD CALL 3 1 1 FOR INFORMATION ON LOCATIONS OF...AND TRANSPORTATION TO...CITY COOLING CENTERS.
ELEVATED OZONE LEVELS WILL COMPOUND THIS HEALTH SITUATION CREATING UNHEALTHY CONDITIONS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH RESPIRATORY SENSITIVITIES.
(Why the NWS still can't wrap its head around lower-case letters baffles me, but they're pretty good at predicting weather.)
At the moment, Chicago is only 28.3°C (83°F) with a heat index of 31.1°C (89°F). Of course, it's just past 8:00 am. Stay tuned.
It was 29°C (85°F) by 9 this morning. The temperature may possibly fall below 25°C (77°F) before sunrise Tuesday, but not likely before then.
Last night, my buddy from Washington remarked about the 30°C (86°F) evening and said, "back home, this is delightful July weather."
Bleah. I want frost.
Anne is stuck in Washington because of storms in Chicago...sort of:
O'Hare International Airport was experiencing [hour-long] delays, she said, but the airport's flight schedule also had been interrupted by technical problems at a Federal Aviation Administration facility in Elgin.
[Chicago Transportation Dept. spokeswoman Wendy] Abrams said the delays were expected to continue throughout the early evening.
The National Weather Service in Romeoville issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch, which will remain in effect until 11 p.m., for northeastern Illinois and northwest Indiana.
I may see her tonight. I hope.
Why did the only government we have approve a deal to give nuclear materials to one of only two nuclear-armed countries that rejects the Non-Proliferation Treaty? (Possible answer: because the other one is Pakistan?)
Yes, Congress voted 359-68 to give India nuclear technology:
For Bush to implement his accord with India, lawmakers must first exempt New Delhi from U.S. laws that bar nuclear trade with countries that have not submitted to full international inspections.
Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) [said] that "at this time of great crisis in the world, we should be looking for nuclear disarmament, nuclear abolition—saving the world, not ramping up for Armageddon by nuclear proliferation."
"We're going in the wrong direction here," he said.
As Tom Lehrer once sang: "We'll try to stay serene and calm/When Alabama gets the bomb./Who's next?"
I am sad to report that Illinois' own nuclear material Henry Hyde sponsored the bill, though how this will help DuPage County is beyond me. Also troubling is my own representative's vote for it. Congresswoman Schakowsky: why? Why? Why?
ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) posted a $10,360,000,000 profit last quarter:
The earnings figure was 36 percent above the profit it reported a year ago. High oil prices helped boost the company's revenue by 12 percent to a level just short of a quarterly record. Exxon Mobil's report comes a day after another large U.S. oil company, ConocoPhillips, said it earned more than $5 billion in the quarter and at a time when many drivers in the U.S. are paying $3 for a gallon of gas—increasing the likelihood of further political backlash in Washington.
I wonder, does this have anything to do with the secret Cheney energy-policy meeting in 2001? I wonder. I also wonder who's getting that money. Are you an ExxonMobil shareholder? Do you know anyone who is, whose annual income is below $500,000? I wonder.
Just for giggles, you might want to know that their profit works out to $1,317 per second. In the time it's taken for me to write this entry, they've earned almost $400,000.
As we say in Chicago: "Where's mine?"
One more thing: Temperatures in Chicago should hit 32°C (90°F) every day for the next week, so it's possible my estimate of their earnings was low.
I noticed this morning that the sun is rising a little later. So I thought, other than pressing personal and professional obligations, why not update the sunrise chart? (You can get one for your own location at http://beta.wx-now.com/Sunrise/SunriseChart.aspx.)
||Sunsets get earlier
||Latest sunrise until Dec 26th
Latest sunset until Mar 9th
||Standard time returns
Earliest sunrise until Mar 6th
||6:30am sunrise (again)
||Earliest sunsets start
||Sunsets get later
||Solstice, 00:22 (Dec 22) UTC
||Latest sunrises start
||Sunrises get earlier
||Earliest sunrise until April 15th
Earliest sunset until Oct 28th
||Daylight savings time begins
Latest sunrise until Oct 21st
||6:30am sunrise (again)
||Earliest sunrises start
Sunrises get later
||Solstice, 18:06 UTC
||Latest sunsets start
You can get sunrise information for your location at wx-now.com.
That's what Molly Ivins suggests this week:
Do I think Bill Moyers can win the presidency? No, that seems like a very long shot to me. The nomination? No, that seems like a very long shot to me.
Then why run him? Think, imagine, if seven or eight other Democratic candidates, all beautifully coiffed and triangulated and carefully coached to say nothing that will offend anyone, stand on stage with Bill Moyers in front of cameras for a national debate … what would happen? Bill Moyers would win, would walk away with it, just because he doesn't triangulate or calculate or trim or try to straddle the issues. Bill Moyers doesn't have to endorse a constitutional amendment against flag burning or whatever wedge issue du jour Republicans have come up with. He is not afraid of being called "unpatriotic." And besides, he is a wise and a kind man who knows how to talk on TV.
Sounds good to me.