We Brought the Heat from Houston

When we started this trip, I think Janna and I both had visions of this glorious northern summer, where it was going to be highs of 75 and partly-cloudy every day, dipping into the 50s every evening.

Right about now, I’d settle for anything in the 80s.

Somehow, we’ve managed to run smack-dab into the worst summer…everywhere. It feels like every city we’ve been to has been in the midst of a record-setting heat wave, with all of the humidity that comes with it. And let me tell you – heat waves aren’t nearly as much fun without central air.

On our way up to Michigan, we stopped through Little Rock (which was a few ticks off the record high), Memphis (which was in the midst of the highest low temperature ever recorded there), and Indianapolis (which equaled-or-set temperature records on both days we were there, according to the local news).

Then, we had a reprieve in Michigan, which was just coming out of its own early-summer heat wave that had Lake Michigan warming up at record rates, long enough to a glorious 70-degree wedding (if you were there, you get it).

Toronto was fine, but our first days in Montreal were brutal. Canada Day 2018 (July 2nd) in Montreal saw the hottest temperatures ever recorded on any day in Montreal, peaking at 26.6 degrees Celsius at the McGill weather station, which is about 98 Fahrenheit. The next day, it was hotter in Montreal than it was in Houston. In July.

We were in the 90s on multiple days in Maine, and now, having arrived in Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love and one of the most walkable cities on earth…and it topped out at around 96 degrees in September (once again, about 15 degrees warmer than Houston), with a heat index of 101. The record high for Philadelphia on September 4th is 93 degrees. Was 93 degrees. Another temperature record. Lovely.

There have been days of reprieve. Maybe half-a-dozen that stayed in the 70s, and they’ve been the kind of spectacular experiences that we’ve been hoping for by heading north for the summer. While I’m sure that everyone reading this from Houston is playing the tiniest violin, because it’s not quite the same stifling, never-ending triple digit heat that befalls the Bayou City every summer, it’s also been a bummer to deal with. It’s kind of the effect that Houston deals with when it snows a little. The cities aren’t as equally equipped for heat up here, and it’s pretty rough.

But, we’re not letting that keep us down or keep us in. We’ve fallen into a rhythm of retiring indoors for the hottest part of the afternoon (usually 2-5PM), and heading out as the humidity caves in the early evening. I’ve become obsessed with dew points, which is what you all should be using to determine how comfortable or not it is outside, and have figured out the weather patterns pretty well (the humidity drops as temperatures rise in the afternoon, and then there’s a sweet spot where the temperatures drop before the night time humidity climbs back up where it’s great).

Who knows. Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to have more record heat…in December. In Columbus. Where it’s also 93 degrees right now, and where the record December high is 76 degrees.

But, so long as we stay away from the record lows (-17 in 1989), we’ll trolly on. It’s all part of the adventure.

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