Sunday, July 24, 2011

This, or January?

The heat wave seems to be broiling every last bit of good nature out of most people, and the National Weather Service's computer models indicate more of the same ahead.

We'll catch a break for a few days -- Monday and Tuesday, to be specific -- when a cold front (well, sort of a cold front) crosses the Charlotte region. Thunderstorm chances will be fairly high Monday, and most areas probably will get some rain.

But the strong high pressure system that seemingly has been anchored over the lower Midwest for many weeks will strengthen again at midweek, and its impact will be felt again in our area. That means high temperatures will be back in the upper 90s by late next week.

I saw a poll Sunday morning on CBS-TV, in which people were asked if they would trade July heat for January's weather. If I saw it correctly, 59 percent said they'd prefer July. Another 39 percent wanted January. I don't know what the other 2 percent asked for -- maybe an end to the NFL lockout.

So I went back six months, exactly a half-year, to Jan. 24 and checked on Charlotte's weather. The high that day was in the mid 40s, and lows were in the lower 20s. That was six to eight degrees below average for late January, just as our recent temperatures have been six to eight degrees above average.

So which do you want -- mid-winter or mid-summer?

Our heating and cooling bills are equally outrageous. In the winter, you can dress in layers. That option is limited in summer. But you won't find 4 inches of snow and ice making the roads treacherous in July.

I always said I prefer the heat, and even the last few days hasn't changed that, although I'm ready to scale back the temperatures a few degrees. I think I understand where the 59 percent in that CBS poll were coming from.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

January! Temps in the 40's aren't that cold...come on! Upper 90's with 70 degree dew points is just intolerable. Not to mention, everyone seems to be a lot more cranky in the heat.

Anonymous said...

January.

Charlotte's winters are mild and just enough to have a seasonal change.

Charlotte's summers are grotesque and filled with bad air.

Anonymous said...

Only here in Mayberry would there be such an inane debate. It seems like 30% of all local "news" in the Observer and especially our awful TV stations is inane weather hype or some sort.

Anonymous said...

I'll take January, thank you. You can always layer up for winter temperatures, and when you go outside, you don't feel as if you're drowning in hot water. Even working outside in winter is preferable to summer and a heat index of 110.

Regarding "outrageous" heating or cooling bills, my heating bill in winter is nothing compared to summer's electric bill, mainly because I have oil heat. And being cold-natured, I don't run the heat constantly as I do the air conditioning. Flannel sheets and a goosedown comforter take care of night time warmth in bed.

January or July? No contest for me.

Anonymous said...

Carolina Januarys aren't so bad. But, I'd gladly take a Carolina hot summer day over a cold Ohio day anytime.

People say you can always layer up in the winter. But, there is little that can get effectively done outside when it's very cold. Plus, even with gloves, my hands never get quite warm enough.

In the summer, even on the hottest days, I can get a lot done in the morning.

My highest energy bills have always come during the winter months.

Snuffy said...

July, July. Any day below 45°F is too cold. I am glad I am a native born Carolinian; I can see why Northerners move here from looking at their winters. Also, it is much nicer not having to worry about icy road conditions, (I’m expected to be at work regardless of the weather). I can sit in the shade and sip iced tea or water, enjoy the butterflies. I wish the weather could stay between 45-75°

Anonymous said...

WINTER! WINTER! WINTER!!!! Ideally I'll take a high of 59 and a low of 34 any old day, but if forced to choose I'll take a January day in upstate NY over this crap any day. This is just plain disgusting. I don't even put on my heat here in the winter, just in the morning when the family gets up. Once it's 68 it goes off til the next morning. But this crap, I've got the A/C running non-stop. I HATE IT!!!

Anonymous said...

Then move to NY please. I love the summer here. I don't like when people move here and then complain about the heat.

Anonymous said...

I'll take January anytime!! I can add more clothing, but I can only get so naked. Our power went out last week due to a tree falling in our neighborhood during a storm. I cannot even begin to describe how miserable a night that was for us. I truly thought our indoor dog was going to die. I finally took him outside and he was so exhausted and hot that he collapsed in the dewey grass and fell asleep. I felt like doing the same. The problem with the south is the miserable humidity.

Anonymous said...

All of you who want January, please move north. Trust me, they've got all the cold you want.

Anonymous said...

JANUARY!! You can always put on more clothes, plus you have NFL, NCAA Bball on tv.

Anonymous said...

I'll take July anytime. I can cool down in the summer, but I never can get warm enough in the winter. I have a turn of the century Victorian house. It is much easier to cool in summer, than heat in winter. Give me Summer!!!

Anonymous said...

Summer here is often hot, no way around that fact. These past two summers have been pretty bad though. I grew up here and even I have to admit this is pretty horrible. 95-100 degree days are not normal and with the oppressive humidity, it is difficult to breathe. If you enjoy this weather, you need your head examined.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that most of you who prefer January are not from here. As a native Charlottean I love our hot summers. I do not understand why someone would move here and then complain about the weather. I'm also tired of meteorologists always complaining about how hot or cold it is. It's weather, stupid. It gets hot here in the summer and cold in the winter. And yeah, even 50 degrees is cold enough for me. Bring on the 90 degree days!

John said...

I love it all! The great thing is none of it lasts forever. Having grown up in Indiana and lived 11 years in Miami, I love Charlotte because I get the four seasons but none of them for very long.

Enjoy the seasons!

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, summer in the South. As a native North Carolinian, I'm used to the hot, humid summers as a way of life, and look forward to them on those frigid January days. Growing up, we didn't have air conditioning, and nobody complained about the heat. The TV weathermen didn't bore us with dewpoints and heat indices. It was just hot. It was just SUMMER. We loved it, and I still do.

BH said...

Don't like summer here? Just move a couple hours away to Beech Mountain (south's highest town) where 70-75 is summer heat. Of course, the occasional minus 20 chill factors in January might also factor into your decision.

Trade-off you know.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Anon 4:07 PM what are you a moron? The question was January or July. I said I'd rather deal with a January day in upstate NY, i.e. COLD, than July. I wasn't comparing a NY July to a NC July. Check the weather map. There ain't much difference. I wasn't comparing NY to NC. Idiot.

John said...

Funniest thing is that when I lived in Miami, I used to see all these people who moved down from up North to get away from the cold only to set their A/C so low that the windows fogged up!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this city is filled with similar idiots. I mean FILLED!

Small-minded people who hate anybody who does not look, or think, exactly like they do.

I moved here from California in 1994, and the "anti-Northerner" sentiment was really amazing.

Aren't people from the North citizens of the U.S.?

Haven't they helped to bring in a lot of tax revenue, and helped to raise the values of the properties of all the life-long NC residents whose grandparents left them the family home?

Or, would you rather our state be the same as Mississippi or West Virginia?

I didn't hear anyone saying "the hell with those damn New Yorkers" when the World Trade Center was attacked.

Time to go spread your hatefulness over at the trailer park...now GO!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, our Summers and Winters are equally uncomfortable. I keep my house at 80F during the Summer and 68F during the Winter because heating and cooling bills are so ridiculously high. If I moved to Texas, sure, the Summers are still going to be terrible, but what's another 5 degrees? And at least I'd have four or five months of 60F - 70F during Winter. Here, I've got exactly 0 months (well, maybe one if you combine the two weeks of Spring and the two weeks of Fall) of comfortable weather. There, I'd have four or five months.

KaraNewportSucks said...

If you're going to write a blog on a newspaper's website (and apparently get paid for it as a "professional"), learn basic grammar.

Midwinter and midsummer are compound words.

It's not 1910.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the comments if you had written this story in winter. January is the wrong month though. February is the cold month to me. I'm a former yankee and work outside. I'll take July any day. Frozen fingers are no fun.

Anonymous said...

Weather Guy,

Ask this exact question in January, right after a snow and a few days of freezing nights that cause the roads to slick up and the schools to close!

We all know the answer would change from January to July! Ha, ha!

Being from the North, I love the cold, change of seasons but also appreciate the heat. And everything is A/C'd down here!

It's hotter in NY than here! Stop complaining everyone - thank goodness we don't have to live THERE!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Anon 5:28, I'm not a moron or an idiot, thank you. If you would prefer upstate ny over nc, then no one is stopping you from moving.

Steve Lyttle said...

Hey, folks. If we're talking about the North, this is a brief argument. It's July.

And in response to "Anonymous" at 6:03 p.m. (who suggested that Texas is better), one of my brothers from Austin was here last week. He said the humidity was far worse than Austin or San Antonio in the summer. I think he'd agree with you.

Steve Lyttle said...

Just to clarify my previous comment ... my brother said the humidity in the Carolinas was far worse than in Austin or San Antonio. We had 75-degree dewpoint temperatures Thursday and Friday, compared to dewpoint readings in the mid to upper 60s in south central Texas.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 5:46, are YOU living in a trailer park out in the sticks somewhere in W. Va.? That's not the Charlotte I've known since '94, which is increasingly diverse and populated by transplants and largely even devoid of southern accents!

jb said...

I always tell my wife, "I don't complain during the summer, no matter how hot it is. That way when it gets below 40 degrees in the winter I can complain and complain and complain without feeling like a hypocrite."

Give me the hottest July on record and I still wouldn't want to go back to 40˚ as a high and 20˚ as a low. Now, I love Carolina winters when it's 65˚ during the day and 45˚ at night. I endure the really cold days here because I know they'll pass soon enough.

Peace.

Anonymous said...

It's the rude, trashy attitudes coming from the likes of Anon 5:28 that turns the natives against the transplants. Then y'all wonder why we feel the way we do.

Anonymous said...

How did a January vs. July debate turn into a North vs. South debate?

Seems like not even a topic like the weather is immune from idiotic comments or people looking to put down someone else.

But I'm sure it can get even more childish, given half a chance.

Chris said...

After going to Appstate, I promised myself I would never complain about the heat ever again.

I love it!

Anonymous said...

Remember how you Yankees made fun of us because we weren't tough and can't drive in the snow. Well guess what? Your a wimpif you can't take the heat. Wuss.

Anonymous said...

In January, I would rather have this. Right now, I would rather have January :-)

Anonymous said...

Met a woman in town from South Africa on Saturday, and she could not believe the humidity and heat combo we have here. It is winter in South Africa now, but she said even in their hot months, it does not feel like this.

Hear that kids? It's worse here than in Africa!

Anonymous said...

At least with the heat we get more hours of daylight....that's a plus for me!!!

J said...

When I moved here in 1988 from Ohio, the lack of real winter weather was a positive. Now that I am enduring my 24th Carolina summer, I realize I still haven't adapted. I was watching the NatGeo Wild channel over the weekend, and saw this show about a dude wandering around the Antarctic looking for polar bears. Snow and ice as far as the eye could see. I was longingly staring at the screen like I was an alcoholic and the TV was a rack of booze bottles behind glass. I now long for winter, and never complain during the cold. This heat, especially 2007, 2010 and 2011, is just too much.