Thinking of going outside today? Don't. Seriously, just draw the curtains, crank the A/C and chalk this day off as a loss.
Isn't there something at home you've been meaning to do? Sort through old receipts, plane an uneven bathroom door? Either of those things would be intensely pleasurable compared to stepping outside, where the actual temperatures are expected to top out at 103 degrees and the heat index feels like 110. This is looking like the absolute worst heat day of 2011.
I bet there's a big wad of hair in your shower drain that needs removing. Or what's going on with that spider-generating area behind the couch that hasn't been dusted since Judge Ito was on TV? What, you don't have a broom? Nevermind, then. Just make yourself a big sandwich and think about what you'll be doing next week when it'll be slightly cooler, because you sure as heck aren't going outside today.
Listen to what the pros are saying. The National Weather Service recommends that people stay in air-conditioned rooms today, away from the sun, calling relatives and neighbors in case medical problems arise. That's not paranoia speaking; by official reckoning, 22 people have perished under this “heat dome” perched over more than two-dozen states. The sun is literally cooking turkeys alive in Minnesota. In D.C., there's an excessive heat warning until 10 p.m. – best to stay inside.
Want to know why reacquainting yourself with Balki today is a better idea than venturing out for ice cream and juice? Here's why:
That's a model of the average daily dew points in America from July 18 to July 24, based on NAM readings. High dew points prevent your sweat from cooling you off. Dew points above 60 create “uncomfortable” air, above 70 create “oppressive” air and above 80 are “rare cases” that like Voldemort shouldn't be spoken of, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
At 9:30 p.m. last night in D.C., the dew point was 81. It won't shift much today, and aren't your toenails in need of clipping?
Strong thunderstorms could start popping up in the region tonight, but Saturday will boil away any cooler air. Sunday and beyond looks... bearable. Until then, there is plenty time for knitting a giant bodysuit in the hope that winter will get here soon.