Hotter than hot

October 09, 2007

Hot weather somehow feels hotter in October than it does in August. Sunday's 93-degree temperature and oppressive humidity were more tolerable in the summer than at a time when the imminent arrival of Halloween signals that the air should be crisp, dry and way cooler.

This dissonance throws life patterns into chaos. Is it too soon for wool? Too late for flip-flops? Can curly summer hair still be worn wet to work? It's just so hard to be seasonably correct when the temperature isn't.

As ill-fated runners in the Chicago Marathon and Pentagon-based Army 10-Miler were reminded too late, coping with extreme weather requires training for those conditions. Most Marylanders are not trained up to August weather in October. They lost their natural conditioning, as usual, about mid-September, when the mercury dipped into the 60s. Even mild activity, such as gardening, now can be dangerous.

But the planting seasons are all out of whack as well. The general warming of the climate here had pushed back landscaping schedules as far as Christmas. With this year's drought, which encompasses most of the state thanks to 24 straight days without rain, the soil is downright cranky - certainly not receptive to fall bulbs or winter crops.

Weather patterns are, to say the least, mercurial. Sixty-degree days are expected to return this weekend. Trouble is, once again, the training schedule is all off. So 60 degrees is going to feel like freezing. Colder than cold.

But at least you can put on a sweater.

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