Trying to beat the obscene heat

Just got back home after making a quick visit to the post office and gas station.

Yes, that’s right. I made those stops around 0430 (4:30 a.m. for those uninitiated to military time).

I have no desire to venture outside in the middle of the afternoon right now. To call it hot would be a gross understatement.

It is ridiculously unbearable in all corners of Kansas right now. Temperatures today are expected to be well over 100 Fahrenheit for the third straight day. The AccuWeather app on my phone gives me temperatures in Celsius (I set it up that way), and when I saw 40 as the temperature the last two days, I knew it was brutal out there.

The heat index was far worse the farther east you went. At one point yesterday, the heat index reached 116 F (46.7 C) in Topeka. For as long as I lived in Louisiana, the heat index rarely got that high.

It had to be hell on all of those dressed in suits who work for the state of Kansas. I hate wearing suits, period. I would not want to wear one in the summer. In fact, had Lisa’s wedding in St. Louis been in June or July and not October, I may very well have passed.

Any heat index above 110 F (43.3 C) is deadly. If it’s this bad in late July and throughout August, there will be football players who will encounter serious problems. Some may die. That would be a crying shame, because no football coach should ever put his needs above those of the young men (and a few ladies) he oversees.

Some love to point out more people die in the cold than the heat. But last I checked, you can put on layer after layer to guard against the cold. You can’t go outside naked in the heat, unless you are at a place where nudity is allowed. And there aren’t many of those places on the planet.

Yesterday’s hottest heat index in Russell was 104 F (40 C), which was only one degree above the actual high temperature. The heat index was 109 F (42.8 C) Wednesday. I was smart enough to make sure I got back from Hays by 1100 to ensure I didn’t have to deal with the heat any longer than I had to.

Fueling your car before sunrise is actually a good thing to do in the summer. Ozone is released every time a car is fueled, and those effects are multiplied when the temperatures are warmer. When I lived in Baton Rouge, it was not uncommon for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to issue ozone alerts for the city and the surrounding areas.

One of the suggestions the DEQ always makes on those days is to not fuel cars between sunrise and sunset. I heeded that advice this morning, although Casey’s at the corner of Maple and Wichita was closed, so I had to go to the Great Bend Co-op station on US 281. Now I don’t have to worry about it Tuesday when I return to see Dr. Jones.

Dr. Jones found something in my right eye during my exam Tuesday. She put me on prescription drops and is having me come back to check my progress.

I’ve got to stop eating sugar, although I have been drinking Gatorade recently. I bought the Gatorade before my appointment with Dr. Jones, where she harped on me to watch my blood sugar. She’s right, I need to watch it carefully.

As bad as the Kansas heat has been Eureka went through much worse Tuesday when an EF-3 tornado struck the Greenwood County city, causing much damage. The high school was destroyed. There is a tie between Russell and Eureka as Sean Spoonts, who was Russell High’s athletic director for three years (2013-16) is now in the same position at Eureka. Hopefully they are okay.

Lazy Friday ahead. No World Cup, because the group stage ended yesterday and the knockout rounds begin tomorrow. The College World Series is over. There is a full slate of Major League Baseball, but only one game matters, since the Red Sox and Yankees are playing this weekend. THANK GOD the Braves and Cardinals will be the Fox game of the week in Kansas.

The worst thing in the sports world will come later tonight when it’s expected LeBron will opt out of the final year of his contract with the Cavaliers and become a free agent.

I hear enough about LeBron during the NBA season. Every time I have to hear about him outside of game action is a time too much.

High of “only” 100 F (37.8 C) expected in Russell today. Won’t matter to me. I’m done venturing outside today. And probably for tomorrow, Sunday and Monday as well.

About David

I am a sportswriter for a group of weekly newspapers in small towns across northern Kansas. I grew up in New Orleans, went to college at LSU and wandered in the wilderness until Hurricane Katrina finally put me on the path to my current job.

Posted on June 29, 2018, in Weather and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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