It has been really hot. The weatherman said that we have not had this kind of string of hot days since the 1930s. I remember that my father used to say, “It ain’t the heat; it’s the humidity.” He was right, but we have both. I still have been riding my bike to work and it has been about 80 degrees when I set off in the morning. I am soaking with sweat by the time I get to work and am more grateful than usual for the showers.
Yesterday I went to the Wilson Center to hear a talk on Brazilian biofuels. I will write notes later. I got to work and took my shower and then I decided to walk over to Wilson for the program that started at 9am. It is only around a 15 minute walk, but the humidity made it really uncomfortable. Well, the really hot weather is supposed to be over in a couple of days. Then it will be merely hot.
I got a little spoiled last year when it was cool (by Washington standards) most of the summer. I understand that this is an “El Nino” year, which means it is hotter than usual.
The funny thing is that it is an especially cold winter in South America. I have been watching Brazilian TV and they talk a lot about the “cold wave” hitting their country. Cold for them does not mean the same thing it does for us. When it gets down around freezing it is a very serious event. They just aren’t ready. There are reports of cattle just dropping dead from the cold in states like Mato Grosso do Sul and Parana. You can see it on TV. They evidently just drop down and are laying right where they stood in the fields. These are tropical breeds that just don’t make it through a cold (by Brazilian standards) night. They also tend not to have sheltering barns, since there is usually no need for them. Cattle raising is extensive instead of intensive and often what we would call “free range”. Brazil has a lot of pasture land. I read that each cow has an average of a whole hectare of land.
The pictures up top are from my morning ride through Arlington Cemetery yesterday and the day before. You can sort of see the humidity in the air.