Free Lemonade Days are Here (Well, in Bluefield)

Not The “Mother” of All Heat Waves

Funny thing happened as I drove back from Philly on Sunday. For hundreds of miles, the heat felt intense as the skies were filled with bright rays of illuminating July sunshine. Temperatures crested above 90 all the way from the Betsy Ross House at Independence Hall in Philly to historic Martinsburg-Harpers Ferry on the Potomac to Proctorville Ohio where the Lawrence County Fair is off to a sizzling start.

A Civil War of sorts was being waged in between, as the air was A BIT less hot at high elevations. For example, at the Sideling Scenic Lookout in Allegheny County, Maryland and the I-68 Welcome Center in Preston County WV, afternoon temperatures felt hot in the sun, but actually registered only in the 80s.

One important exception to the 80s up high rule came at Bluefield, the air-conditioned city, where the high hit 90 on Sunday. That means its FREE LEMONADE courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce on Monday. Now since I expect another 90 day on Monday, if you miss out on the freebee on Monday, just wander over to the courthouse on Tuesday for a do-over.

Of course, talking summer heat without factoring in the humidity, is like saying in winter, ‘the wind doesn’t matter”! It does and so we must consider the amount of moisture in the air in summer if we are to be thorough!

Sunday’s air remained relatively low in moisture content (as measured by dewpoints near 60). That humidity factor should change only a tad on Monday but by Tuesday as winds veer to the southwest, the true measure of humidity will spike up when dewpoints reach 68. So the phrase 3H for 4Hers and FFAers (Hazy, Hot and Humid for kids in 4H and Future Farmers of America) will certainly be true on Tuesday in Proctorville.

For Monday, the forecast high of 95 is a blanket temperature for the region including the fairgrounds on state Route 7. As always, downtown bank thermometers will register several degrees hotter. Why you ask? Well, I like to say banks pay us interest on our deposits and dividends on the summer’s high temperature. Think of the extra heat as a by-product of the asphalt roads and concrete buildings of urban areas. These hard surfaces will absorb heat and radiate it to the air around us. That is worth a degree or 2 and accounts for why highs will reach 96-99 downtown on Monday.

So my suggestion to you, either drive to Bluefield for a freebee, or by all means make the trip to Proctorville for some lip smacking lemonade as you walk the dusty Midway!

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