Summer of ’14 gave us a break
How many times did I hear, “Mailman, is it hot enough for you?” Or, “Mailman, it must be 100 in the shade!” Probably not so this past summer, as we went through a second straight year without 100-degree weather.
Hundred-degree days are not as common as one might think. As a matter of fact, in the past 65 years, from 1949-2014, there were only 19 years that produced any 100-degree days. This included a stretch of 13 consecutive years without a single 100-degree day, 1964-1976.
Here is a list of years with at least five days of 100 degrees or more:
1954: 10 days, one in June, three in July, four in August and two in September. This was the last time we had a 100-degree day in September; the record for the year was 104 degrees on Sept. 6.
1952: 9 days, three in June and six in July. Record: 103 on July 29.
1986: 9 days, all in July, the most such days in a single month. Record: 103 on July 21.
1983: 6 days, two in July and four in August. Record: 103 on Aug. 23.
2007: 6 days, all in August, including the first three consecutive 100-degree days — 102 on Aug. 7 and 104 (the record for the year) on Aug. 8 and 9.
1993: 5 days, all in July. No records.
2012: 5 days, two in June and three in July, including the second three consecutive 100-degree days. Record: 104 on June 29, June 30 and July 1, tying an all-time high).
As a survivor of the ’50s, I do not recall being all that miserable. We had an oscillating 10-inch Singer fan that you could stop with your finger (which horrified our mother). Windows stayed up except when it rained, and good screens were a luxury back then.
Nowadays, most of us live in a temperature-controlled environment, travel around in an A/C car, work and shop in A/C, attend activities in A/C. I believe this leads to a perceived difference in the way temperature extremes affect our bodies.
Think of the early settlers who had no comforts, nowhere to go and no way to get there except by horse and wagon. Those were not the good old days.
Bill Poole, a retired postal carrier, lives in Salisbury. He also helps the Post track high and low temperatures for the area.