Ice^h^h^h Heat-breaker June 26, 2021 8:22 PM   Subscribe

This metacocktails, with unclimatically high temperatures forecast for much of western Canada and the US, let's talk about plans to beat/escape/embrace the heat. As always let's avoid politics and this is a conversation starter not limiter.
posted by Mitheral to MetaFilter-Related at 8:22 PM (92 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

My plan is to stay inside all day even harder than usual and crank up the window AC unit in my office to full blast. Has worked out so far today but tomorrow is looking like the heavyweight champ of this particular heat wave so we'll see if several more degrees into the triple digits makes a critical difference. As much as anything I worry about heat-related power outages.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:31 PM on June 26, 2021 [3 favorites]

I went swimming at a neighborhood pool at the hottest part of the afternoon (by previous reservation). With covid restrictions on max 2 people per lap lane, it was delightful! Otherwise my day was very like cortex’s, and tomorrow should be more of the same, electricity-service-willing.
posted by janell at 8:47 PM on June 26, 2021

Temperatures are predicted to be in the mid to high 90s with humidity this coming week in the NYC area and worryingly we’ve already had a power outage. We have a kiddie pool and sprinkler deployed for the kid and a stock of Gatorade ready for me as I work outside.

It is going to be a tough week.
posted by sciencegeek at 9:21 PM on June 26, 2021

There's a ~5 year gap between when I usually see cited as the start of standardized weather recording in Seattle and the Great Seattle Fire.

Tonight's almost certainly going to solidly break the record for hottest night (previous record being in 2009)

So, with a minor bit of implicit fuzziness, this will be the hottest known night since the Great Seattle Fire
posted by CrystalDave at 9:51 PM on June 26, 2021

I'm scheduled to get my second jab tomorrow (yay!) but I'm mixing types and had some side effects to the first AZ shot, so I'm really kinda worried about dealing with both a second set of side effects and the hottest day of the century or whatever here in the Vancouver (BC) area. And ooh boy these are the days I miss working in an office with central AC. I might just take monday off - WFH means we dont get snow days any more; I'm might just take a heat-day and drive around with the AC on. Either that or I'm gonna be working from the food court in the lovely air-conditioned mall... which strikes me as very ironic as an option since I'm physically not even allowed to be in my office yet.

Us PNW folk are not built for this, physically or even as a region. I may complain about the rain, but at least I can deal with it and there's the infrastructure in place. This, I have no tools. I melt.
posted by cgg at 10:13 PM on June 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

My go to when it's super hot is a rickey. Just whisk(e)y, half a lime, and seltzer, all over ice. I find it quite cooling.
posted by Carillon at 11:47 PM on June 26, 2021 [3 favorites]

I was picking up dinner today and the person at the register who I took to be a college student asked me how locals deal with a heat wave. I have been here in Bellingham all of 15 months and should have responded “hell if I know; I moved here to *get* the good summers” but I was too heat-addled and just shrugged.

A year ago today the high was 67°F 😭. I think the 2020 summer high temp was like 88°, with something outrageous like only 5 days above 80° and in my hubris I was crowing about it to my east-coast coworkers. A week ago the high temp was below 70.
posted by supercres at 12:12 AM on June 27, 2021

cgg, I'm definitely taking Monday off here in the Seattle area. Join me in not even f*cking trying to pretend to get work done when it's 110 out and I'm not in a climate controlled office.

I'm so worried our grid isn't going to be up to all the AC and fans people are running.
posted by potrzebie at 12:14 AM on June 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

I live in a holiday destination in the UK. It's currently answering the common tabloid question about why do many people choose to go abroad for their holiday. 15C (59F) and with a let up in the rain due tomorrow evening. Also we've had covid cases jump by a factor of 100 locally over two weeks thanks to the G7 meeting here two weeks ago.
posted by biffa at 4:28 AM on June 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

I am one of those many Portlanders who do not have AC. Yesterday when it was 103 outside it was 78 inside. Easily tolerable, but of course entirely dependent upon my having been able to fan in cooler nighttime air for a few hours before closing up for the day. Overnight today, I wasn’t able to get inside lower than, coincidentally, 78. We will see where it settles later on. It’s all box fans on low just to keep air moving on/around me, occasional ice packs, water, and plenty of fridge food I don’t need to cook.
posted by bixfrankonis at 6:41 AM on June 27, 2021

Wet bandana draped around neck when sitting near fans, window AC cranked up (but in an old house with bad insulation so the poor thing is running 24/7 for the next few days), limiting computer use, and fridge food. Lots of roasted barley tea.

And sometimes reading about different disasters/apocalypses to just really lean into things, y'know?
posted by curious nu at 6:55 AM on June 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

I am also AC-less in Portland, and have never actually lived anywhere with AC in my almost-68 years. With time I've mastered the art of deploying fans to cool the house down overnight, then tracking temps and shutting everything up tight as soon as exterior temp > interior temp; unfortunately, tonight it's not forecast to get below 80, between two days of ~115, so this will have limited efficacy for tomorrow.

I'm not worried about myself; I can always hop in a cool shower as needed, and could also just spend the day in the nearby library. I *am* worried about my cats, and am checking them regularly for water intake and any signs of distress. (So far they mostly just seem to be in a typical state of hot-weather-cat-melt.) Worst case scenario, I could put them in their carriers and take them to one of the cooling centers that's open to pets, but that would stress them hugely. Anyway, just sitting tight for now and praying the power grid stays steady, because w/o fans this would be *massively* unpleasant and actually dangerous.
posted by Kat Allison at 7:08 AM on June 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

The heat wave hasn't hit the Mid-Atlantic area - 90F daily highs are normal for this time of year - so it's business as usual for us. We enjoyed lunch al fresco with friends yesterday at a pub, and we will be camping 4 nights over the July 4 holiday weekend at 4000 ft. above sea level. Forecasted highs are in the low 70s.
posted by COD at 7:13 AM on June 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best of luck to all in the PNW, I hope the grid stays stable and all can get through this well. Until I moved to the midwest I never had a/c (in LA) and those 100 degree+ days in thin old building were scary miserable. I remember feeling the ancient glue in the ancient apartment carpeting get squishy underfoot, ugh. I would just lay on the bathroom floor with a fan while my cats slept in the bathtub.
It's summer as usual here in Chicago-- torrential rain/thunderstorms yesterday that flooded everything, but a good day to smoke bacon. Today so far is clear and breezy, I have a new recipe for vermouth rose to mess about with, and I'm gonna try the marinade from this Middle Eats video on some drumsticks. I am so enjoying learning about Egyptian/Middle Eastern flavors from this guy.
posted by winesong at 7:29 AM on June 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

We're lucky enough to have an AC window unit in the bedroom. By late afternoon yesterday, we were all camped out in there. I suspect today and tomorrow we'll end up in there even sooner. Even yesterday involved cold showers, popsicles, lots of water, and frequent hair wetting. Today will have more and probably some wet washclothes, sitting on mesh furniture inside, and eating cold food for most meals. I really like the three bean salad my spouse made. The one room of AC was able to get us about 20 degrees cooler than outside, so probably can cool to 85 or 90 today. How is this Seattle?
posted by blueberry monster at 8:11 AM on June 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

I should also mention that we work pretty hard to cool the house off with open windows and doors early in the morning and late in the evening. (I even took the filter off of one of our box fans, to have more fans. I'll have to tape that back on in smoke season.) We got our house down to 79 today. That should be our high.
posted by blueberry monster at 8:28 AM on June 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

We're headed to Texas this week for a couple weeks with family. I guess we're embracing it. :)
posted by joycehealy at 9:17 AM on June 27, 2021

My band did the opposite of beating the heat on Friday, driving down to South Carolina for a wedding reception — the first reception we had played since November 2019, and this one rebooked from 2020. We left home base around 6 a.m Friday, started setting our stuff up around 2:30 p.m., played the gig that night, packed up and checked into our motel aroud 1 a.m. Saturday. Delta variant COVID be damned, we're back in business!
posted by emelenjr at 9:41 AM on June 27, 2021

I'm working here inside today, should be decent. Vermont really isn't too bad this week--though like many in the Pac NW, AC is a pretty rare thing outside of businesses and individual bedrooms. I am one of those people who really enjoys kind of moving around the house opening and closing windows and curtains and positioning fans to try to get optimal cooling without AC so it's a job, but one I enjoy for some reason. I live in a second story apartment that is mostly in the woods, so not too much passive solar, but keeping my bedroom door totally closed until bedtime is part of my planning. I made a bunch of ice during the last heat wave and have a huge pickle jar of iced tea and a pitcher of iced coffee so between that and basically sitting around in my almost-underwear, I am planning on an okay day.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:44 AM on June 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

We've only had Central A/C for a couple years now (window units in the bedrooms before that) so it's business as usual at home but it sure is putting a crimp in any outdoor activities that don't amount to sitting in a shady spot holding an iced drink.

I did manage to get out at five in the morning yesterday for a mini hike/ photo safari (love the long days) and rode to a lunch with friends before it hit 40 (104 freedom units) in the afternoon (can't mow till 10 on Sunday but 7AM is the earliest on weekdays(. Supposed to get to 42-43 (110F) this afternoon so grass cutting will have to wait till tomorrow.

It is so unreasonably warm that the weather models freaked out though. Lots of weather apps predicting like 49 (120F) over the weekend which is around 5 degrees hotter than ever recorded in Canada on any date. Obviously looney but created a bit of panic.
posted by Mitheral at 9:55 AM on June 27, 2021

Like supercres, I moved to the PNW to escape hot summers. When I first landed here July 4th of 2008, the temperature was in the mid-upper 70s and I don't think it got above 80 all summer; I was in heaven. But in the past 12 years I've watched the rainy season get shorter and drier and summer get longer and hotter. I find myself pondering how much further north I could go...maybe move to Lapland and herd reindeer in my twilight years.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:29 AM on June 27, 2021 [5 favorites]

Also in Seattle, and we've packed a cart with the absolute necessities for the two of us and our dog and cat, in case the power goes out and we have to bug out to a motel or friend's house. This is very likely, because the power in our Columbia City neighborhood goes out if you look sideways at a power pole and everyone who can has plugged in a portable air conditioner. Pet food, meds, a change of clothes, spare computers, charging cables--ready to go at a moment's notice.

Yesterday we got by with fans and ice packs, but today we've borrowed an air conditioner.
posted by QuakerMel at 10:33 AM on June 27, 2021

Lapland summers are short but geez the gnats.
posted by Namlit at 10:33 AM on June 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

I'm working on eating more veganly. Fortunately, there's a really good book, "Becoming Vegan" that walks through how to get your nutrition from food in great detail. Best book I've found on it. Comes in both an express and expanded edition. I keep meaning to check their cookbook out from the library, too. This is my latest contribution to trying to beat the heat.
posted by aniola at 10:53 AM on June 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

Also, my partner reminded me that a different author says it takes your body time to getting used to having more fiber in your diet and if you can't fit it all in now, you might be able to over time. Which is a relief because eating the minimum amount of vegetables is a lot of work.
posted by aniola at 10:57 AM on June 27, 2021

I'm working on eating more veganly.

Purple Carrot (vegan meal-kit service) has all of their recipes online, and unlike some places they use normal measurements (so they don't say "add packet B" they say "add one tsp cayenne") so it's easy to make things yourself, without any kit., it is still "modern vegan" so they're gonna call for food analogs like cashew cheese, and vegenaise and stuff like that, depending on the recipe, but even so it's a pretty decent stockpile of vegan recipes.
posted by aramaic at 11:28 AM on June 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

I am happy to have a place to share that our kitties nails are once again too long, and once again the lady is coming over to trim them, so once again we have to round them up, and every time we do this I feel like I'm in the original Jurassic Park movie except I am the velociraptor and the kitties are the children in the cafeteria. And I hate this whole thing. They hate being picked up so once their incredibly perceptive instincts figure out what's going on, which is almost immediately, they will both do anything to get away from us, and they're much better at this than we are. Yesterday the nail lady I had to text her and tell her not to come because we already gave up. Today there will be no such option. I'm at my desk right now hoping that me sitting here on my computer will lure them in, because when I sit here during the week for work they know that if they come up here and ask for brushing they'll get a brushing. Once they're in here I will close the door on them and they will have nowhere to go. Any other attempt at rounding them up will fail. I am unbelievably nervous and anxious about this. If we don't get it this time, Starling's claws are so long she can't even walk across the carpet, so I don't know. Thanks for listening.

On the topic of heat, I don't know who needs to hear this, but you are allowed to get an air conditioner, and they have ones that don't have to sit in the window anymore. Your act of defiant protest isn't going to make 1 bit of difference in the world going downhill, so you might as well be comfortable. I'd also say move to my little corner of the bay area where it's breezy & cool 50 weeks out of the year but I'm probably being silently poisoned by the oil refinery down the block so six of one half dozen of the other.
posted by bleep at 12:00 PM on June 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

entirely dependent upon my having been able to fan in cooler nighttime air for a few hours before closing up for the day

That's what I do here in Maine, too, or rather, what I used to do. I can no longer fan in air from the outside because this year the air is full of tiny toxic hairs from browntail moth caterpillars. I face the fan out the window instead in hopes that hot air will be sucked out, and it does seem to help a little.
posted by JanetLand at 12:12 PM on June 27, 2021 [7 favorites]

posted by aniola at 12:14 PM on June 27, 2021

Okay, it may be the hottest temperature ever recorded here, but at least there's no miasma of airborne urticating hairs. Thanks for the perspective!
posted by away for regrooving at 12:32 PM on June 27, 2021 [15 favorites]

cgg, if you haven't gotten your second jab, check to see if the vaccination clinic is still open. A couple of outdoor ones closed unexpectedly yesterday.

Overnight lows briefly touched 24C (75F) around 4am than shot up again.

First time I've ever had the (portable) AC running overnight in the bedroom. I'm a bit inland these days (and in a glass tower) and it flirted with 40C (104F) yesterday; it will definitely break that today and tomorrow. Overnight low predicted at 24C again tonight. Unprecedented.

I pre-cooked and froze batch of beef shank curry last week, and stocked up on salad, fruits, and sandwich stuff.
posted by porpoise at 12:41 PM on June 27, 2021

get optimal cooling without AC

We finally live in a place where we can get a cross breeze, but we're also on the 30th floor and have a western facing wall. We moved in at the end of last summer, so we're still figuring out how to minimize our need to run the AC. Things are slightly complicated by the wind sometimes being a bit too strong to really open up, but it's still my favorite set up I've had as an adult.

As a kid we lived in a house without central AC (we had a window unit in the living/dining area, very far from our bedrooms at the other end of the ranch). As long as it cooled off at night, we had enough shade from the trees that keeping the house comfy wasn't too hard. It would occasionally get thrown off by the mosquito spraying, and there was usually a week or two* each summer where it'd stay hot and muggy even at night, but overall I still miss being able to summon a cross breeze drawing in cool air with the flip of a switch.
posted by ghost phoneme at 12:55 PM on June 27, 2021

The GFS weather forecast for Seattle shows us possibly hitting 118F tomorrow. The old record was 103F in 2009.

No air, no access to it. It's already irritating, and I don't look forward to spending a day hopping in and out of cold showers over and over.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 1:11 PM on June 27, 2021

Janetland, I'm so sorry you have browntail moths. It's 91F at my house in Maine, with refreshing [sic] humidity. Started the day with my long hair wet & braided, and the fan facing me, on medium. The house was pretty warm by 9 am, so I opened windows, closed blinds. So far, I'm fine, not least because there's a good breeze. I roasted vegetables for dinner yesterday evening, what a mistake, the house took ages too cool off. Maine now has serious areas of drought, but the lake across the road is sparkling, and I expect to at least go wading.

No AC, but have only ever had a few days in Maine where I really wanted it, and then I go for a ride in the car with its AC or take another shower or swim.

I recently had dairy-free lemon soft-serv that was really good, I may try to find some closer than a 40 minute drive. Also, days in 90s are perfect for beer, or a weak frozen Margarita.
posted by theora55 at 1:22 PM on June 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

The GFS weather forecast for Seattle shows us possibly hitting 118F tomorrow. The old record was 103F in 2009.

Back to eyeing the windows and going 'round and round with "do I foil them up? But I've seen people talk about it damaging windows? But that's what some people say applying it to cardboard helps with. But I don't think I have much spare cardboard right now. Either way, if the building management has an issue, I'll be happy to take it down once the heat dome is over..."
posted by CrystalDave at 1:27 PM on June 27, 2021

CrystalDave - mylar emergency blankets, you can even get them in gold.

Spray window with water, the mylar foil will adhere and stay there. If/ when it falls down (in a few days/ weeks), re-spray and re-stick.

Make sure the shiny side faces out, you'll still be able to see through but it'll help without looking like you straight-up tinfoiled your window.
posted by porpoise at 1:30 PM on June 27, 2021 [7 favorites]

This is a public service announcement: wet t-shirts are not just for partying; they are for heat waves.
posted by mightshould at 1:37 PM on June 27, 2021 [6 favorites]

In theory tin foil or mylar can cause a window to crack if the stars align just right and the foil is on the inside. If you can mount it to the outside it will both work better and eliminate the risk.

We used to just tape a weight to the bottom two corners of a mylar blanket and the tape the top edge to the top of the window. Depending on size and arrangement you can do this completely from the inside of the window opens. Use a stick to tape down the far edge.

I face the fan out the window instead in hopes that hot air will be sucked out, and it does seem to help a little.

This basically turns every air leak in your house into a restrictive filter. Okay but not ideal. If you can swing it a furnace filter (the cheapest you can buy is sufficient for macro contaminants like hair) taped to the intake of your fan would work better. Step up to better filters if you need to catch pollen/dust.
posted by Mitheral at 1:44 PM on June 27, 2021

This basically turns every air leak in your house into a restrictive filter.

I don't understand what this means, and google is not helping.
posted by JanetLand at 1:51 PM on June 27, 2021

We have had a comparatively mild June in Illinois, but the last week has been like non-stop tornado weather and massive thunderstorms. Been a bummer for the kids because it's been great biking weather all summer so far, but we've been stuck indoors the past week. On the upside, I guess, we were in a drought for most of the spring, so the ground was really dry, so we've hardly had any flooding from the massive storms because the ground's not saturated like it usually is by this time of summer.

"This is a public service announcement: wet t-shirts are not just for partying; they are for heat waves."

Do like midwesterners do at outdoor summer jobs: get a canvas sun hat (like a fishing hat), literally dunk it in cool water until soaked, and then put on your head. Keeps your head nice and cool as the water evaporates, which makes all of you feel cooler. Not fancy ones, just cheap ones you can get like 5 for $20, and just rotate them as they dry. When I was a camp counselor and it was super-hot, we'd fill a 5-gallon plastic bucket with a hose, lug it out to where our camp group was, and everyone would just put their spare hats in the bucket and let them soak until they wanted to change them. Yes, the hats get gross, but this is why you buy cheap hats.

We did an escape room this weekend for one of the kids' birthdays, which was a pretty good covid activity because once we were in the room with just family, we could take our masks off. I've never done an escape room before, and it was really fun! Even my 4-year-old found things and helped solve clues. It was wizard-themed and kid-friendly. Renting an entire mini-golf course, which we did for another Covid birthday, is SURPRISINGLY AFFORDABLE, and you can be outdoors, socially distanced in household groups, etc. We did it just with our covid bubble, but in theory you could do it with your kid's friends from school or whatever.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 1:53 PM on June 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

I don't understand what this means, and google is not helping.

If you point a strong enough fan out the window, it's going to suck air into the house through every crack under exterior doors, attic doors, fixtures, and poorly-closing windows, meaning those cracks and bad seals become your filter. Blowing air out of your house if it is well-sealed won't really work, it'll just make your ears pop from the pressure, you have to have air coming in to replace it if you want any to leave. You'd be better off making an open window into a filter you can replace/remove to clean, assuming your outside air is cooler than inside. Otherwise it's not actually helpful to use a fan at all.

We are only just getting a glancing blow from this heatwave in SoCal, but this is really early for 100s and I suspect it's going to be a rough 4-5 months. I gave in and bought the last Air King 9166F "whole house window fan"* I could find on any reliable sector of the internet, and to my surprise it is out for delivery today, so that I can take advantage of nights in the 60s for the next couple of months.

*We rent, and I'm not investing extra money in a proper ceiling-mounted Whole House Fan, but I highly recommend it for homeowners with cool nights. For small houses and apartments, the smaller/lower horsepower 9155 model would probably suffice. Both fans actually mount on the windowsill in front of the window, so it can be closed behind the fan when not in use. That's a critical factor if you have cool nights and hot days, though it's intended purpose to protect the fan from rain.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:05 PM on June 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

A whole-house fan is a game-changer if you're in an appropriate climate. Anyone in CA should consider one if your ventilation situation permits it. QuietCool models are nice, because they use a remote fan mounted on shock-absorbers. Strong recommend for anywhere that's not too humid and has nighttime temps below like 75F.
posted by aramaic at 2:19 PM on June 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

This bears reposting, as it's an easy way to make a tasty meal with minimum heat. Ladies, gentlemen and other lovely people, here it is for your culinary enjoyment and sustenance in hot times: the couscous trick.
It's not a salad as such. But it's a good way to start one.

- put couscous in a big bowl, together with the same volume in boiling water, or a bit more (it's not an exact science)
- wait for couscous to soak up all the water (5 minutes or so)
- add frozen peas (almost the same volume as the couscous now has)
- mix
Here comes the magic: Now the couscous is defrosting your peas and the peas are cooling your couscous. Win-win.
Give it a few minutes and add your other ingredients, such as freshly chopped vegetables, olives, tuna, feta. Cilantro leaves, if you lean that way, or parsley, or mint. Add a dressing of your choice, toss and enjoy.
Very fast and tasty result.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:47 PM on June 27, 2021 [12 favorites]

I installed a small misting system (best $50 I’ve spent in a long time) on a partially shaded rear patio. Gives the kids somewhere they can be outside but cool and with a sprinkler and some old gym mats we have basically made a mini splash pad for them for outside time when they are not at camps over the holidays.

I also spent yesterday morning successfully fixing my evaporative fan (swamp cooler) which had a broken water pump I swapped out. Luckily I live in a relatively low-humidity higher altitude zone where even if it goes stupid high during the day, overnight temps tend to drop significantly so one really large swamp cooler downstairs, and one smaller one upstairs in the bedroom, plus open windows in the shady side, basically keeps our house livable.

Our forecast highs in the Utah Wasatch back dropped for this week - looks like it’s mostly going north into Idaho and the PNW. But the week after it gets brutal again. Can summer be over yet?
posted by inflatablekiwi at 2:55 PM on June 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

The GFS weather forecast for Seattle shows us possibly hitting 118F tomorrow. The old record was 103F in 2009.

Wow. That's like July in Arizona desert temperatures.
posted by aniola at 4:39 PM on June 27, 2021

Here in Eugene our thermostat says feels like 112. Yesterday and today we got up early to walk the dog and be back inside by midmorning. Today as we drove "home for the day" at 10am, I said fuck it, went into the store, and got prosecco and POG juice and we stayed in drinking mimosas. We are very lucky to be in a house with AC now, but it's hovering around 80 too.

The usual advice of PNWers to "head to the coast" for the free AC also looked miserable - by the time I peeked just out of curiousity I couldn't find a single hotel room left, and the traffic cams looked packed.

Hoping this isn't the prelude to "stay inside for 23 hours and 40 minutes a day because wildfires" part of summer, but skeptical. :/
posted by nakedmolerats at 4:47 PM on June 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

I'm not expecting the annual wildfire apocalypse to go anywhere. As far as I can tell, it's the new normal.
posted by aniola at 4:56 PM on June 27, 2021

At least we're all used to wearing masks now?
posted by aniola at 4:57 PM on June 27, 2021

This may be blindingly obvious, but relatively high indoor temperatures are a lot more tolerable if you sit with a good-sized fan 1-2 feet away and pointed directly at your head/chest. I cool my house with a couple of window units, and when it's in the 90s the upstairs one (at only 5000 BTUs) can only keep my upstairs bedroom/office temp at 80-85 in the afternoons. I have a good-sized floor fan that I set up in the window right by my desk blowing right at me, and I can do work at my computer just fine. In fact, it often feels cooler than the 5-degrees-cooler downstairs because it's really evaporating that sweat, even when the dewpoints are in the 70s.

Here north of DC I feel like it's been neither unusually cold or unusually hot as a whole, but there have been more swings between extremes this spring. We've had a couple rounds of lows in the upper 40s in June, and now we're heading into a few days of mid-90s. We had our last frost the 3rd week in April, and a week later we were looking at highs in the upper 80s. These extreme temperature swings wouldn't be so unusual if we were in a dryer location, but we've usually got a lot of moisture in the air and we don't normally see big day/night temperature differentials.
posted by drlith at 6:07 PM on June 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

Janetland, Your fan might be a box fan in a window, not sealed at all, in which case, it's drawing in air from outside to balance the air going out, so it's mixing the air in the room a bit, but not really exhausting hot air from the house efficiently. I find a box fan isn't strong enough for that. Dunno what restrictive filter is.

The idea of getting furnace filters is great; you could cut them to size to fit over screens and have open windows but not get moth hairs.
posted by theora55 at 6:17 PM on June 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

Hoping this isn't the prelude to "stay inside for 23 hours and 40 minutes a day because wildfires" part of summer, but skeptical.

Yeah I’ve been trying real hard not to think about this, but that’s partly trauma from last year where all I was allowed to do during pandemic lockdown was go outside for walks and then suddenly the outside air was full of hazardous-level smoke.
posted by bixfrankonis at 6:42 PM on June 27, 2021 [3 favorites]

We’ve got an old house with a new 2nd floor. The lath/plaster main floor stays a solid 10degrees cooler than the upstairs. Outside right now is 103, and we’re at 84 indoors on both floors. Friends loaned us a portable air conditioner, which is helping the upstairs.
We button up everything as soon as the temps start going up in the early morning, sealing in as much cool air as we can. At night, the double-hung windows get opened top and bottom, and a dual window fan in the downstairs bedroom gets put on exhaust for a while. Most nights we can get it into the 70’s, which is sleep-able.
Tonight could be tough, as it’s only supposed to go down to 71.
Now if everyone will lay off the fireworks, we might make it!
posted by dbmcd at 7:19 PM on June 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

We have the same kind of old house, plaster and doublehungs and all. Surprisingly livable, though it does need the night temps. plus an ex-coal cellar basement that's barely finished space but is great as a dry root cellar and, right now, a me-cellar.

Plus what I think of as "cooling equipment as originally spec'd and installed", viz., trees to the south and west. *Huge* temperature difference in afternoon when the sun goes behind the trees. They're really expensive to keep, because the treelawn has been made too small to really support big trees, but oh the difference.
posted by clew at 7:54 PM on June 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

We're in the middle of winter which is when I normally emerge from the house to Do Stuff outdoors, but were also in Lockdown 2.0 which is limiting my movements slightly, so I'm contenting myself with stacking wood and kindling and removing as much fuel load as I can pre-bushfire season. I'm expecting it to be horrible again, although how much there is left to burn around here given last year...who knows. I'll be thinking of you folks and sending you the coolest vibes I can manage.
posted by ninazer0 at 8:49 PM on June 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

Bakersfield is about normal but dry. It is always hot here in the summer, shockingly so. Tower fans are great, they take up little floorspace and for the elderly, they have remotes so they can turn them off/ on/up/down, from their chairs. They don't get tangled up in walkers like those other oscillating fans. I watch out for someone and she just ordered her second one for the bedroom. She has AC but for low relative energy, they direct AC from wall vents or windows to where it is more needed. Anyway best to all you hotties out there.
posted by Oyéah at 9:26 PM on June 27, 2021

Could I be the only one here who likes it hot and humid? I wait all year for the summer days like the ones we are experiencing here in NY this week. I would so much rather be hot than cold. Put on some sun screen and out the door I go. As for evening and sleeping, I do have central A/C. I turn it on about an hour before bedtime and then set it for like 75 in case the temp slowly rises above tolerance for sleeping. When I was a much younger man, I spent my summers in Virginia. That is where I learned to love the heat and humidity. Having said that, if I settled in a place not known for it and actually known for mild summers, I would not be a happy camper.
posted by AugustWest at 8:50 AM on June 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Could I be the only one here who likes it hot and humid?

No. An old girlfriend of mine who ended up becoming a best friend eventually moved to Florida from upstate NY for the heat and minimal winter weather. I moved from Florida for those very same reasons (not that it's doing me much good at the moment, mind you). We celebrate our differences...from a 3000-mile distance.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:27 AM on June 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

I like hot. Left to my own devices I'd set the thermostat at 28-30 (85 F). But humidity kills me. Nice dry heat good, humid at any temperature bad.
posted by Mitheral at 9:53 AM on June 28, 2021

something I learned many years ago when I fumbled into some +100 degree weather in Los Angeles (and overcast at that, so densely, oppressively wtf to my Canadian blood) ...

A hot tub* in roughly blood temperature water worked wonders. I've heard the problem with colder water is that while it cools your exterior, it excites your core temperature, gets it compensating. So once the initially buzz passes, you may actually start feeling even more heated. Whereas keeping it all around blood temperature equalizes things.

* I've since found that a bath gets the same sort of result.
posted by philip-random at 10:01 AM on June 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

I dunno, I generate too much* heat at the best of times, and can't effectively shed it if the temperature of my surroundings is over 78F or so (humid or not). At that point even sweating just seems to make me damper, not cooler. I'm skeptical that sitting in 90+F water would help.

*though past S.O.'s might object to that classification, particularly in the winter
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:49 AM on June 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Another member of the mmmm heat club. Just went out for a lunchtime walk at the office, it's only 92°F. I'll be sad when it goes back down into the 80s later in the week. A prominent item on my bucket list, deferred due to the pandemic, is to visit Death Valley, CA during the summer.

My office is freezing help :(
posted by Melismata at 10:59 AM on June 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

A hot tub in roughly blood temperature water worked wonders

Can confirm - even on a cold evening I don't really like our hot tub over 99 or maybe 100 if it's cold and windy, and on a warm afternoon/evening 97 or 96 feels refreshing without being shocking and the effect seems to last a lot longer once out of the water. We have ours set at 99, so tend to turn the heater down* immediately before we get in so it drops slowly with us in it.

*In-ground spa pool, unheated wants to be 60ish degrees, or maybe 80ish if the cover is working.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:43 AM on June 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

I hate heat. Really, really hate it and don’t do well in it, to the point where I get headaches and my brain goes all muzzy. Some of this may be due to the medications I take; I just found that out on Twitter in one of the plethora of useful heat dealing with threads that have lately proliferated. One of the main reasons I moved to the OR coast was it’s lack of heat.


I live tweeted the whole day here. The thing is, I’m used to heat. I lived most of my life in the south, often without AC and never with more than a window unit in a bedroom. But in the south, by and large, the houses are built with hot weather in mind. There’s at least cross ventilation and, gods willing, a whole house fan. In my house here there is no such thing and I can move fans all day with little result. I do not even have a janky window unit. Hell, I didn’t even have opening windows when I first moved in & I still have only one per room.

It is 78 in the house right now. It was 90 when we got back from the beach at 10 last night. I “slept” cuddling a bag of ice like a teddy bear. We went to the beach around 4:30 and at first it was amazing, breeze off the water, temperature seeming almost normal. But then the wind died and suddenly, there were - this is so hard to explain - like bubbles or pods of dry superheated air. I got up from my chair, walked 3 steps and was in a tiny dry superheated microclimate. 3 more steps and I was out. It was no lie up there as one of the weirdest, creepiest things ever. Slowly they blended and took over and then the bugs came out. So we came home and it was 90, outside and in. I am not cheerful nor optimistic.
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:47 AM on June 28, 2021 [5 favorites]

So here’s a question for outdoor swimmers: a swim at the local lake beach sounds really good right now. But supposing I want to do this solo, what to do with my car key? Safety pin to my Speedo or is there a better solution?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 12:29 PM on June 28, 2021

I’d safety-pin. Twice, maybe. Also, check your suit for a teeny key sized elastic pocket in the waistband if any, swim and running clothes often have them.
posted by clew at 12:34 PM on June 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

And if your key has a built in fob you can usually get a door only key cut for a few dollars. Leave the actual key in the trunk or something. Better than exposing electronics to water.
posted by Mitheral at 1:28 PM on June 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

Day 3 of the heat wave here in Portland. I am attending work Teams meetings from my bedroom cave, camera off (my work attire, what there is of it, is decidedly non work appropriate today)

Survived the weekend with a kiddy pool in a shady spot in the yard, epic tons of sunscreen, gallons of water and popsicles, multiple cold showers, and many spray bottle wars with my 7 year old. Food has been cold pasta salad, caprese salad, and a lot of fruit.
posted by medeine at 1:30 PM on June 28, 2021

Every single surface in my apartment is warm. Toilet seat, carpet, refrigerator door handle, coffee table, etc.

I can’t sleep because sweat drips into my nose and from there fills my lungs.

Then, an hour-and-a-half nap in the car 🚙 with the engine running and the AC blasting. Take THAT climate change!
posted by bendy at 1:41 PM on June 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

32C in Toronto right now and I had to turn off my air conditioner to record a voiceover. My cat is very angry.

In other news, I believe I might be falling in love. My cat is also very angry!
posted by wellred at 1:47 PM on June 28, 2021 [6 favorites]

I hate heat. Really, really hate it and don’t do well in it

I just say I’m a delicate flower when it comes to heat and use it as an excuse to avoid it as much as possible.
posted by bendy at 1:52 PM on June 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

some weeks ago:

Boyfriend: where should we go on vacation?
Me: I don't really know...what about a midwest road trip?
Boyfriend: I feel like that is going to be a very HOT and HUMID kind of road trip
Me: Yeah, you're probably right...where could we go for a little less heat?
Boyfriend: Well, I've never been to Portland, we could try that!
Me: Oh yeah good idea, good idea.

Narrator: it was not a good idea.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:52 PM on June 28, 2021 [10 favorites]

We once took a trip to Montreal in July, with promises from residents and family who go there on the regular that we would be escaping the midwestern heat. Turns out that July had record-breaking high temps while we were there. High 90s and high humidity. We were not pleased.
posted by cooker girl at 1:57 PM on June 28, 2021

My spouse is originally from FL and I am from MN, so... we have a running joke that there's only about a ten-degree temp swing that we're both comfortable at. I think it's been hotter here than even they typically enjoy, but they are better suited to go lizard-bask in the heat for ten minutes and then retreat.

I usually win the temp war because we adopted a shelter dog who is part Malamute and very on my cool-weather team. Spouse calls us "their Northern breeds."
posted by nakedmolerats at 2:17 PM on June 28, 2021

Day 3 of the heat wave here in Portland.

I’ve started mulling if there’s somewhere in Alaska I’d like to live. My sensory issues extend to bright, hot weather; I’m generally out of commission once we hit 80 as it is. But I think I’m also something of a fatalist because hey what can you really do. (Right, I know: air conditioning. But then it becomes a matter of somehow squeezing that electric bill increase out of a very limited and effectively unchangeable budget.) Basically I’m just saying this is pretty miserable.
posted by bixfrankonis at 2:23 PM on June 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Oh look, 41 C (~106) in the metro vancouver area according to my various weather apps, and still rising. BC is on fire ya'll. My 73 year old dad who has lived within 20 miles of here his whole life says it has never, ever gotten over 40 until this week.

I did in fact bail on work today given we still WFH due to covid, and it's miserable. I have a small amount of influence, so I've been encouraging others to do so, cancel meetings, and generally feel sorry for their coworkers in the PNW. However those who have lived in various warm climates think we're a little too fragile for our own good, but oh well.
posted by cgg at 2:40 PM on June 28, 2021

Yeah, dry bulb measurement in the shade hit 42C (107F) at 12th floor in Burnaby/ Lougheed. Overnight low will briefly be 23C (73F).

The entire building is heat soaked and even the P3 underground is reading 25C.

I have a portable AC but it's only effective when its blowing directly on me.

Not expected to drop below 20C (and only for a couple of hours) until Wednesday just before sunrise.

I can normally see Mt. Baker, but the air is so hazy it's completely obscured. The clear sky is light powder blue with a yellowish tinge.

At least its too hot overnight for road work; last week was absolutely brutal with work being done from midnight through to 10 or 11 in the morning.
posted by porpoise at 3:05 PM on June 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

I’ve started mulling if there’s somewhere in Alaska I’d like to live.

Don't move to anywhere there that relies on permafrost, is all I'm sayin'.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:20 PM on June 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

Just returned from Alaska, can confirm: seems habitable until you meet the mosquitoes. Turning all that permafrost into swamp isn't going to improve matters.
posted by Kadin2048 at 4:08 PM on June 28, 2021

Naan-dough in the lidded solar oven are better browned than I expected but not very naan-like. Could be my complete lack of technique. So many ways to burn your fingers!

Trample-washed a heavy wool blanket and, to my immense surprise, the edges are still damp. Hours of this to go, though.
posted by clew at 5:09 PM on June 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

I miss 1000 things about San Francisco but definitely in the top 50 is its perfect weather.
posted by bendy at 5:13 PM on June 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Pale blue sky with yellow tinge, sounds like Bakersfield + methane. Could this be covert methane release in areas where it is not usually measured?
posted by Oyéah at 5:50 PM on June 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

I miss 1000 things about San Francisco but definitely in the top 50 is its perfect weather.

As I recall, it hit 100 degrees there last year too.

Point stands though. I lived there for a while myself, and while I was unhappy there and don't miss much, I do miss the weather.
posted by notoriety public at 6:26 PM on June 28, 2021 [3 favorites]

Since the inside of my house hit 86 F (where it's held consistently through until now), whenever I feel I'm wilting, I just step out for a few (get the mail, water something, put an umbrella over the garden) and come back inside to this sweet, sweet oasis.
posted by klausman at 7:12 PM on June 28, 2021

So 42 (108 f) is officially too hot to push a lawnmower.
posted by Mitheral at 7:30 PM on June 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

does grass grow at 42/108?
posted by philip-random at 7:33 PM on June 28, 2021

IDK but my grass was already 12" tall ( the disadvantage of camp work).
posted by Mitheral at 8:19 PM on June 28, 2021

Don't mow grass when it's hot out. The grass can catch fire.
posted by aniola at 8:34 PM on June 28, 2021

Woke up from a sweaty doze about 20 minutes ago, checked outside the front door, and HOLY CRAP THE COOL WINDS HAVE ARRIVED here in NE Portland. Truly, totally like emerging from the siege of some horrible illness, and feeling the return of life.
posted by Kat Allison at 9:09 PM on June 28, 2021 [7 favorites]

+ methane

The colour is mostly to the East, and has "warmed up" to a brownish. To the West, it's just smog gray. There's a lot of farmland in that direction (the Fraser Valley).
posted by porpoise at 9:34 PM on June 28, 2021

Three days ago I finally found the secret to surviving this weather. My mom invited me to a garden art show and there we found a lovely older man making gorgeous copper things.

Folks, I am now the proud owner of an outdoor shower!!! I set it up with a kiddie pool to catch the water for dumping into the garden. Every day when the world is on fire I step under my flower shower and it is MAGNIFICENT.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 4:57 AM on June 29, 2021 [10 favorites]

so about a week ago, my sister (who tends to worry about things) took a look at the long range weather forecast and booked me into an air-conditioned motel -- more for my dog's sake than mine. "Just cancel it if you don't want it," she said. And on Saturday morning, I woke up having survived the first night of heat fully intent on cancelling the reservation (which wasn't until Sunday). But then I forgot about it until it was too late.

So there I was, Sunday 4pm, peak of the heat blasted day, collapsing into a f***ing frigid motel room. But the dog wasn't complaining and neither was I once I got things equalized back up to around 20-C, 70-F. We ended up also staying last night (Monday) but enough reality distortion is enough, because that motel is stuck in what amounts to an industrial park, reasonably close to various useful places, but walking distance from nothing but warehouses, small factories, offices, railyards -- we even stumbled upon a vast Amazon delivery station buried away at a dead end with nothing beyond it but a protected wetland area ... and always looming on the horizon like enemy robot monsters, huge apartment towers blunted by smog and haze.

All very strange and yet ...
posted by philip-random at 11:11 AM on June 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

Folks, I am now the proud owner of an outdoor shower!!!

I love outdoor showers! Enjoy it.
posted by bendy at 8:32 PM on July 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

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