Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Weather with us...

Once again it's that time of year in Florida. You know, the time of year when the cruelly oppressive heat and humidity of the summer finally departs and leaves us with gloriously cool and sunny weather. Cause for celebration? You'd think so, but you'd be wrong.
For some reason, the very mention of the term "cold front" causes Floridians to go into panic mode, wrapping themselves in layers of woolly clothing befitting of an Arctic expedition, as they scurry from their heated cars to the next heated building. The whole charade annoys me to no end.
Understand that we're not talking about truly frigid teperatures here; a daytime high in the 60s and an overnight low in the 40s is all it takes for the TV reporters to brave the elements, cocooned in furs and earmuffs, as they offer the public advice on how many sweaters to wear, and how to wrap their plants, pets and loved ones to protect them from the impending, perilous chill. Meanwhile, over on the area's beaches, there are stout Minnesotans and pasty British tourists alike, clad in bathing suits , cavorting and splashing around in the Gulf like it's the middle of summer, wondering what the fuss is about.
I must admit that I find it perplexing that the cauldron-like summer months, here in Florida, are actually more comfortable in some ways. Sure the heat is oppressive, but as long as you limit your time spent outdoors, say, to about 35 seconds, you're usually safe. The thing is, the air-conditioning systems in every building are usually at full tilt, so that you'll often see people wearing sweaters inside offices and shopping malls. The aim seems to be to keep us cocooned at around 68 degrees, and since I seem to be less tolerant of the heat these days, I really don't have a problem with this. Why though, when the temperatures outside actually drop into that desirable range, do the heating systems have to be turned on? Not only turned on, but cranked to simulate the searing temperatures of summer?
I can't stand it much longer, and have already been contemplating life in a less tropical climate. My feeling is that residents of Colorado, for example, are a little less likely to turn their public buildings into incubators at the first sign of a cold snap. I would go and do a little online research on the Rocky Mountains and its climate, but first I have to go outside for a cool down; my wife just turned the heat on.

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