Saturday, August 27, 2011

Heat, lights, camera, action

We are back from a several-week junket to the northern latitudes whence I derived.  Daily high temperatures in our vacation areas ranged from 59 degrees F to 79 degrees F - daily highs, not lows.

This type of escape is necessary for sanity: if you don't do this already, plan to simply get the heck out of Houston for a spell during each Mean Season.  During the entire time we were away, daily highs in Houston remained above 100 degrees F, for a record-breaking heatwave.  One of my Houston girlfriends emailed me that she was fighting heat rash despite never having stepped foot outside.

So here's an odd juxtaposition of images in rapid succession:
Temperature 61 degrees F beside restlessly romantic seas.
Coat, hat, and long pants...
necessary accoutrements for the north Atlantic
no matter the time of year.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
Screengrab from frontpage...
Which day?
Pick a day, ANY day...
Back in July, I published a blog entry questioning whether water use restrictions would even be acknowledged by the public if drought conditions continued to worsen.  The jury is still out, but this screengrab from Houston Chronicle echoes those questions.   
Recent screengrab from Galveston County Daily News.
I suspect that people, both individually and collectively, are going to realize that prevailing mindless prohibitions on watering are not well-thought-out and not designed to do what regulation should do, which is to minimize cost-benefit ratios.   Plans must be developed to conserve water while not totally discounting the impacts to public and private investments.  
Screengrab from one of this week's editions
of Austin American Statesman.
This statement has been echoed in other sources which also note that, although this year's drought is the worst on record, other recent years have also been unusually severe (think 2009).  
Despite all this heat-related, there's actually a few tiny pieces of good news for us here in Centerpointe, as follows:
We actually got 2.1 inches of rain here the other day,
as reported by weather station MD6282,
which is located right here in Centerpointe. 
Less hell AND less high water:
Did you know that Centerpointe tends to be NOT QUITE as hot as the majority of greater Houston?
We used to live in north Clear Lake, and I can definitely feel a difference between there (just six miles away but hotter) and here (cooler and also breezier). We are slightly moderated via our joint proximity to both Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico - water on two sides - but without the extremity of lower-elevational exposures that characterize many other areas that are closer to the coast (personally I see this as a pretty good trade-off - some of the coolness but more of the elevation protection from hurricanes).  Here above is an example of this moderation effect in the form of today's projected high temp map published by the National Weather Service.  
Stay cool.
Don't stay dry.
Stay happy.
(The last of which should be easier for you if you had the good sense to get out of here for a recent northern vacation.)
Yet another NWS warning graphic.

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