May 1, 2013

Weather: dreary with smoke

La Ceiba weather

The weather websites are coming up with some interesting tags these days. Sunny, cloudy, rain, snow: I'm sure they get tired of those. I was on a Honduras website and noticed a weather widget predicting "smoke".

La Ceiba weather

We do have a smoky season in Honduras. It usually only lasts about a week. I still haven't figured it out and never remember year to year exactly when it was. It's widely believed to be at the time when the sugar cane farmers burn their fields. The clouds of smoke go up and usually hang over Honduras for a week or more. But the sugar cane folks always deny that they are at fault, so who knows? All I know is that it is real and it's uncomfortable, especially causing problems for those with respiratory issues.

After seeing that, I wondered if my blog weather widget was also reporting "smoke". I took a look and saw that odd report shown in the photo at top: "Dreary". What an odd thing to say. I think of dreary in respect to rain, maybe drizzle, heavy clouds, and that sort of thing. Dark and dreary. Dreary and depressed. Hot and dreary? It just doesn't fit.

What it should say and should have said for the past week or two is "Hotter than hell" because that is what we've been experiencing. Even people in high altitude Tegucigalpa who have balmy weather compared to La Ceiba have been moaning about the heat. It hasn't helped that La Prensa keeps publishing articles warning us that the hottest days are yet to come. Is that possible? Can it really get any hotter than it is? They say it has something to do with the position of the sun.

It also hasn't helped that Tegus, San Pedro, and La Ceiba have had numerous power outages during this hot weather. We rarely use our air conditioner and never during the day, but existing without fans can be miserable. Luckily, we have been just outside the range of the power outages several times. I'm sure our time is coming though.

Did you notice the "real feel"? 115°F (46°C)! This proves my point that it's not the temperature, it's the humidity! I come from Dallas, Texas. We loved 88°F and didn't even blink about the heat until it got to be around the 105°F range (41°C). I remember experiencing 114°F (46°C) and a full month when the daily high was over 100°F (38°C) every single day. But Dallas has no humidity to speak of so the 'feel' is more like opening an oven door, not immersing yourself in a boiling caldron.

My super-sized sweating tea mug
It is so hot that I work up a sweat just strolling to the kitchen to replenish the ice in my insulated mug of no-longer-iced tea. By the end of the day, I'm pretty sure that I'm drinking iced water, not tea. Speaking of sweating: even my antique insulated mug sweats like crazy. It's not supposed to do that!

The sky has been a little hazy today. I keep hoping that means that rain is coming, not that it is the beginning of smoke season. My sore throat is telling me otherwise. I miss rainy season!

Has it been hot where you are?

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