Welcome to the Jungle


 Weekend Update
There was a subtle drop in humidity on Friday which paved the way for more of a sauna-like heat across the region. Highs in the 90-95 degree range scorched the earth but eased a tad in the heat index department. In case you are skeptical of that ascertion, just look at the lack of towering clouds today and the somewhat cleaner skies (more blue than hazy yellow).
The county fair marquee went off without a hitch with the Gatlin Bros in Lucasville, a western Bull Rodeo at Carter and the Mason ilde winner on stage near the Armory. In Richwood, the Cherry River Fireman's parade featured a breath of fresher mountain air. Only the Jenny Wiley theatre had a brief shower before the curtain rose for the start of the last summer weekend for Joseph and the Dreamcoats.
As for Saturday, the brief reprieve from the steambath will be arrested as the jungle-like humidity returns. Watch 3D Doppler radar to confirm the muggy air return by painting some morning shower action when you join Josh at dawn.
By afternoon, a field of towering cumulus clouds will dot the horizon with several of those cloud clusters growing into thunderheads. Local street flooding will accompany the heaviest cells as we will again be on "cloudburst watch" in the jungle-like air.
Highs will make 90 for a 27th time in Charleston as the simmering summer of 2010 steamrolls on.
Look for flash flooding to be possible Sunday and Monday as a booster shot of southern moisture meets the same front that has swamped the Whistling Straights golf course in Wisconsin where the PGA is going on.
   Jungle Air Breeds Cloudbursts, More to Come
If you have ever wanted to visit the Amazon or Congo but could not afford it, take heart! You and your accountant will be happy to know that the jungle has come to our region instead.
At least the climate of the jungle has invaded our region with stifling afternoon heat (temperatures in the 90s) and tropical humidity levels (dew points in the 75+ range) working in tandem to muster a heat index above 100 degrees. Recall, the heat index measures how it feels on skin (kind of like the winter wind chill in reverse).
Certified Athletic Trainers should stay vigilant on the practice gridirons as football 2 a days continue. Frequent water breaks and practice without pads should be promoted until the jungle air leaves (next week, maybe?).
Now my only “first hand” encounter with the jungle climate came in Minneapolis, of all places. There at the Mall of America a restaurant called the Rainforest Café is fashioned after the Amazon. Pseudo tropical plants tower over your chateau and a knockout waterfall teams with the chirping of Amazon birds to give the look and feel of the jungle.
To top off this “jungle in Minnesota” setting, every half hour the echo of rolling thunder, the flicker of lightning and the pitter patter of a hard rain surround the restaurant. All this while you down a Margarita and munch on a steak sandwich!
Of course, these days one only has to look outside to find our own little piece of the jungle in our little corner of the world. Take Wednesday when our air conditioned homes awakened to a steamy fog on all windows. The air outside was so moist and muggy then that the air conditioned inside of the windows actually began to breathe. When the steamy air outside came in contact with the cooler windows, fog or mist formed and bathed the windows in a cloak of white!
Funny thing, the weather pattern will remain stuck in place for the foreseeable future. So don’t count on any break for your home cooling costs but do expect more cloudbursts like we saw on Wednesday in Point Pleasant and Huntington to name a few. Local street flooding and power hits from lightning bolts are assured in spots every afternoon.
Given the ferocity of the rain in Huntington on Wednesday, the fear that a repeat flash flood along the 4-Pole or some other nearby stream will occur somewhere in the WSAZ.COM reading area is a given.
When and where? Wish I knew.
I leave you with an e-pix look at a water-logged 3rd avenue on MU's campus thanks to Kevin Rice.


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