It’s Not The Heat. Actually It Is.

A few days ago in North Las Vegas the relative humidity read zero!

Sounds impossible.

It is.

You can’t have zero relative humidity.

The Palm Springs area has been very hot and equally dry the past few days. This afternoon we hit 116, the hottest June 18th since records here began in 1893. Thermal hit 119.

At one point this afternoon both Thermal and Palm Springs stood at 3% relative humidity. Anybody got a glass of water?

National Weather Service   Observed Weather for past 3 Days   Las Vegas  North Las Vegas AirportThere have been lower readings not too far away. A few days ago in North Las Vegas the relative humidity read zero!

Sounds impossible.

It is.

You can’t have zero relative humidity. It was just low enough to round down to zero. When the air is that dry, measuring dew point accurately becomes difficult.

This seemed like a good day to find a graphic and compare “feels like” temperatures in the desert with Georgia/South Carolina/Florida. It was hotter in the desert, but not by much.

The manifestation of all this heat and no humidity is enhanced fire danger. A ‘small’ fire broke out near Thermal. A much larger fire is burning in the San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear.

California is full of wilderness. Fires like these are very difficult to extinguish, even with the science and technology we’ve brought to bear over the last few decades. Fire season has just begun.

3 thoughts on “It’s Not The Heat. Actually It Is.”

  1. This issue of Southwest Deserts VS Southeast Subtropical climates is often a hot topic among retirees. We talked about this aspect of moving for 10 years!! -LOL:

    Having spent time in both…. I think the subtropical southeast coast is still a much better choice (long term) than the southwestern deserts for actually living: The normal high in Savannah in June is 89 F…the normal in Palm Springs 101 F, but the tropical like dew points of the southeast in summer make the real fell temps higher. Still, on those days (like yesterday) when Palm Springs hit 116 F – they are still more uncomfortable than Savannah or St. Augustine where the real fell temp might be 96 or 98 F. Skin Cancer rates are much higher in the Southwest than in places like Florida or South Carolina.

    Additionally, while the deep hot season in both the southwest and southeast might be uncomfortable (for some), the rest of the year the subtropical Southeast coast seems to have better weather for human habitation than the arid Southwest. Cities like Myrtle Beach, Savannah, Charleston, St. Augustine, Palm Beach, Miami…etc have mild falls, winters, and springs, with adequate rainfall that maintains a green winter landscape all year. It can be nice coming from the north in winter and seeing lush green Live Oaks, Southern Magnolias, Palms…etc. There is plenty of sun all year, yet enough cloudy days to make a nice mix of sky conditions.

    In contrast, desert cities (Yuma, Palm Springs, and Las Vegas) are not only stark and burning in the relentless sun of summer, but have a barren and dead-look throughout the year. The few areas that are landscaped look quite odd, a little green patches here and there (which never seem to look healthy due to lack of rainfall and too strong of sun), surrounded by a barren dead-looking brown landscape. Cultivated desert areas often seem to have a fake Disney Land look to them. These are arid areas never meant to have any green. This is in great contrast to the historic lush evergreen landscapes of the old subtropical port cities like Charleston, Savannah, or St. Augustine, Palm Beach, with their red tile roofs, 100 foot Live Oaks, blooming flowers and green grass.

    I think the desert is great to visit, but it is much too stark for me to ever live in. Still, it is an interesting contrast from the arid Desert Southwest and the humid Subtropical southeast. My guess for the perfect USA climate to retire in is St. Augustine, Florida. In winter it is still warmer than anywhere out West, but there is even cool weather , rainfall, and mix of cloudy/sunny days for the perfect mix. To add a bonus, the Atlantic off St. Augustine is warmer in winter than the Pacific off San Diego is in summer. St. Augustine with it’s Spanish styled buildings, and oceanfront location, with uncrowded and clean beaches (no oil spills, or Mexican sewage issues), is perfect for me.

    1. “My guess for the perfect USA climate to retire in is St. Augustine, Florida.” Did you forget Hawaii is part of the United States?

      In your comparisons of the SE and SW you forgot to factor in the alligator/scorpion angle!

  2. As far as Hawaii…we considered it was well. We actually had friends who relocated there…and were back in the USA after 4 years.

    They found that there were many problems living in Hawaii – it is VERY expensive, housing was way overpriced and small for the price, as well as there was a great amount of poverty outside the expensive/tourist areas. The even bigger issue was what they called “Rock Fever”…you quickly learn living in Hawaii you are trapped on a small island 1000 miles from nowhere and in the middle of nowhere. There is no weekend trips to any where different, no quick flights to another city. Mainland retirement is far better, you can weekend places in another city or even another state.

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