It’s About the Heat

Just some musings here about heat and hot weather.

I hate the heat. Really. Unlike just about everyone else, I prefer cold to heat. That’s one of the reasons I moved from Southern California (The Los Angeles area, to be exact.) to the Portland, Oregon area just over a decade ago. It seems it’s almost always hot in L.A., at least to me. Of course, places like Phoenix and Las Vegas are much hotter in summer, and the southern states are much more humid, but at least they cool off more in the winter and have a stronger tendency to stay cool during the winter months.

I remember many times when it was in the 80’s or even 90 during the Christmas holidays, and there would be 2 week stretches of 100 degree weather in September and October, when the area’s famous (or infamous!) Santa Ana winds would blow. I often jokingly say that “It’s always 95 degrees in Los Angeles! And even if it’s less than 95 degrees, it’s still 95 degrees in Los Angeles!

To give you an idea of my bias, I distribute fliers door to door throughout the year. When I tell people, one of the first things they ask about is how much winter cold and weather affects me. I always tell them that it’s heat that will slow me down more than anything and that it takes about 5 solid months of winter weather and precipitation before I start to want warmer weather, but it only takes about that first one day, that’s right, one day, at 80 degrees, the first in spring or summer, to make me wish for that winter cold to come right back. We’re talking Portland winter, not L.A. winter, by the way.

Besides, in summer, there’s nothing I can do about the heat, but, in winter, all I have to do if I start to get too hot, is stop, unzip my jacket, and the cold air cools me off just fine.

Though people from back east or the Midwest would find a Portland, Oregon winter very mild, even at its worst, it is significantly colder than an L.A. winter, and 80’s are generally not seen at all from late October through the end of March. And it definitely won’t be 95 degrees on Christmas Day!

Still, Portland can have its heat moments. I’ve experienced a few hot summers here, from time to time, though still not as hot as an L.A. summer.  2009 was the hottest I’ve seen up here, where we had 4 days over 100, including 2 back to back 106 degree days, and about 28 90 degree days. This summer, 2015, we’ve had about 20 90 degree days this year, but so far have not broken the 100 degree mark yet. (And hopefully won’t!)

Summers here, and winters, too, can be variable. We may get hot weather early in a summer, and then the rest of the summer defies conventional wisdom and remains relatively cooler. This happened in 2005. We had a couple of rare 90-plus degree days in May, and then the rest of the summer stayed in the low 80’s for the most part.

Just when it seems at times that summers here are getting warmer, I’m reminded that it could just be that my heat threshold has lowered, when I go down to L.A. in the summer for a couple of weeks to visit relatives, and find the summer heat more intense down there.

I do know that my tolerance for cold has greatly increased.  When I was in high school in the L.A. area, I used to feel really cold outside in my P.E. clothes if it was cloudy and in the mid 50’s! Now, when I go down at Christmas to see my family, the jacket I wear to go to the Portland airport comes off, and usually stays off until I get back to Portland! And it’s not even my heaviest jacket! That jacket is reserved for really cold days accompanied by the Portland area’s famous “east wind”.

So, there’s my take on heat. Do I hate Summer? Only the hot part. I do enjoy the longer days.

So, have a great and cool summer!

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And thanks for reading!

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