Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Winter Will Come Again, We Promise

December will be here again, even though on a day like today (and alas, worse tomorrow), it feels as if summer is endless and relentless. Today the thermometer will reach into the mid or upper 90's; tomorrow it's going to be even hotter.

Excessive heat is dangerous. And the precautions are pretty much the same as for a tornado or hurricane: seek shelter indoors.

On days when the heat is soaring, you can also do your part for the community to prevent the electrical grid from stressing out (which is a kind way of saying, help Pepco's fragile electric grid from failing) by waiting until the evening to run your major appliances, such as your dishwasher. Press the off button on your computer's monitor when you take a lunch break. Turning the lights out when they aren't needed helps, too. In other words, if it has an off-switch, use that off-switch.

During heat waves the air quality deteriorates. Code Orange is coming, and I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a Code Red day. The high pressure system that's the cause of this very unpleasant heat also traps bad air.  If you can't drive less --and fewer cars help a lot-- tell your yard company to put off using their gas powered leaf blowers until the mercury is at least back to the milder 80's. Leaf blowers contribute significantly to local air pollution.

The poll we ran a couple of weeks ago showed that Washingtonians are evenly split when it comes to winter versus summer. Does anyone who voted for winter want to change their vote today?

Meanwhile, we wanted to share some nostalgia for winter in Washington.

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