Writer’s Workshop: It’s Not The Heat…

Image by Raphael Schaller from Pixabay

This week’s question asks “what’s the most humid place you’ve ever been?” That’s an easy one: Houston, Texas.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

I swear, every time I’ve been to Houston, it’s been humid. I was there in the winter, which isn’t that cold, but it was still humid. What makes things worse is that, in order to deal with the humidity, everyplace is air conditioned to the point where the relative indoor humidity is about 10%, which makes it feel colder than a penguin’s backside, even though the temperature holds steady at 72° (22° C). See, when you come in from the heat and humidity you’re warm and sweaty. That’s a real shock to the system. I spent a week training at Enron (to give you an idea of how long ago it was) and went from the hot and humid to the cool and dry at least three times a day every day. By the time I got home, my immune system was weak enough that I picked up an upper respiratory infection (courtesy of the kids across the street: Mary spent enough time with their mother that she picked up the cooties and passed them along to me), which ruined the next week, which I had scheduled as a vacation (or staycation, because we weren’t going anywhere), and carried over to the following week, when I was in Hawaii for work. Have you ever flown when you had an upper respiratory infection? Trust me, you don’t want to.

Anyplace can be humid, especially if a river is nearby. Atlanta, with the mighty Chattahoochee River running through it, gets very humid, as does Pittsburgh, which sits at the confluence of the Allegheny, Ohio, and Monongahela Rivers. I spent a good portion of the summer before I moved to Atlanta in Miamisburg, Ohio, just outside Dayton, which you wouldn’t think would be that humid until you consider the Miami River nearby. And, while we’re on the subject of Miami, it gets plenty hot and humid sitting on the Atlantic Ocean, but almost every afternoon a thunderstorm pours it all back on the city, cooling it down until tomorrow.

My international winner? Singapore.

Source: Pixabay

Singapore is a city, a country (a city-state, if you will) and an island that sits one degree north of the equator. So yes, it gets hot and humid, and there is the daily thunderstorm to deal with. For some reason, though, it’s not as uncomfortable as you might think. I guess they’ve worked out the whole air conditioning thing a little better than Houston.

So, what’s your nominee?

23 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: It’s Not The Heat…

  1. I vote for Key West. I’ve been to Dallas, and didn’t think it was too bad. I went in the spring though, so …. your vote’s good with me. The mister said Ft Polk, Louisiana. He said Ft Polk was hotter and more humid than HAITI. Soo….

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  2. Even though I was in Panama, Florida seemed more humid to me. It was just so hot and sticky and ugly…bleccchhhh. Thank god for the A/C

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    1. I can’t comprehend how people were able to live in the South in the days before air conditioning. It gets very hot and very humid here, and frequently we’re under heat advisories, where what I believe you call the humidex is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Florida has it particularly bad: it’s a peninsula and close to the Tropic of Cancer, so they get all that heat and humidity, not to mention hurricanes and severe thunderstorms. I was in Miami for a training assignment, and the building had a tin roof. We had the usual thunderstorm in mid-afternoon, and the rain was hitting the roof so loudly that I couldn’t be heard, even with my “teacher voice,” as Mary calls it. That was when we took a break…

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  3. The Gulf coast is humid, but relatively speaking, here the Fort Walon/Destin area is coolest. You go east and Panama City sticks further south into the Gulf, so it’s 5 degrees hotter. Further east still and Jacksonville on the Altantic coast is really muggy. Go west and Biloxi, Mississippi is more humid and let’s face it, New Orleans is a delta swamp to begin with.

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    1. The Gulf is an interesting weather phenomenon. A lot of the bad weather in Atlanta originates in the Gulf, believe it or not. It generates a lot of unstable air…

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  4. Tampa Florida is probably the most humid place I’ve been. My dad lives there now and I remember being shocked at how underprepared I was for the weather. Like I’ve been hot before, I’ll probably be fine. Famous last words.

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    1. There’s that Gulf again…

      When we first moved to Atlanta, our central air went out, and having just bought the house, we had little money to have it replaced.. We figured, no problem, it gets just as hot in Chicago, and we lived all those years. That’s when we learned that the temperature is just one factor in how hot it gets here. After a month of no air conditioning, we were ready to kill each other. Neither of us was able to sleep very well, and it finally came to a head. One night we went out to dinner, and both of us fell asleep at the table. We went after dinner and bought several window air conditioners, and it made all the difference.

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  5. New Orleans, is the worst I’ve experienced. Even worse than Florida, IMO. Orlando, Fl is also very humid because there is no breeze. Ocean breezes help a lot in high humidity.

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    1. Even though it’s nowhere near the Gulf, a lot of Orlando’s weather comes from it.

      I know what you mean about the ocean keeping things relatively cool. Lake Michigan has the same effect on Chicago. It can be 5-10 degrees cooler by the lake and 5-10 degrees warmer in the winter (and there’s the matter of lake effect snow).

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  6. I spent a fair amount of time in Houston and I agree it is probably the most humid place I’ve been to. New Orleans is pretty bad too.

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      1. It’s the elevation (below sea level) and the proximity to the Gulf. New Orleans and Houston are similar but I’d rather be stuck in New Orleans!

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        1. And with all the humidity you’d get really stuck in New Orleans. A friend of mine and her mother were stuck in a hotel there during Katrina, and had to break into rooms and raid the minibars to get something to eat, because the place was deserted. Someone at CBS News found out and went to New Orleans to do a story about them, and when they had gotten the story they were going to pack up and leave Helen and her mom there until it dawned on a member of the crew that maybe they’d like to go home…

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    1. That seems to be a pretty common thing for cities on the Gulf of Mexico. IK’ve never been there (I know, surprise!) but Mary said that New Orleans is very humid as well. Some of that might be attributed to New Orleans being below sea level, but the Gulf is the common thread.

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  7. I’ve never been fond of Houston because of the climate. Since my step-daughter and her family were living there for several years I was having to spend more time in Houston than I would have wanted, but now they’ve moved to Southern California and we probably won’t be making any trips to Houston anymore. I will kind of miss that drive through western Texas though since we won’t have much reason to drive that way unless we’re going to Florida or something.

    Lee

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  8. mine was close by, Dallas/Fort Worth in the summer. I was there training in the summer at American Airlines hq, when I was a travel agent many years ago. you are right – the contrast between the indoors and outdoors is a shock to the system. each and every time.

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    1. I’ve been to DFW many times, and it can get humid there. Not as bad as Houston, but still. It also gets some really intense heat, where it’s still 90 degrees at 10 PM.

      Dallas and Chicago are big American Airlines hubs. Mary’s cousin worked for them for a while: he started out working at Ozark, which was bought by TWA, which in turn was bought by American. The story of life after deregulation…

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