the hottest place in America

Where is the hottest place in the United States of America?  Want to guess?  Reasonable guesses would include southern Florida, Arizona, and southern Texas.   Normally those places are contenders and one would probably be correct.  But if you live in the area which is the correct answer (as I do), you know.  Today the answer is central Arkansas.  Is that inconceivable?  I have the maps to prove it.

Those pinkish-white areas represent “crazy-mad hot”.

Why is central Arkansas the hottest place in the country?  We have excessive amounts of humidity, too!  We’ve been under a “heat advisory” for most of the past few weeks, but now we’re under an “excessive heat warning”, because the heat index may reach 120.   On TV The Weather Channel said the heat index in central Arkansas could reach 125 today.  I’m pretty sure we weren’t designed to operate in such extreme temperatures.

But why is this happening?  Is the weather broken?  I know, it’s easy to blame Global Warming.  But last winter we had snow more often than I can remember in one winter.  And last summer was the mildest summer I could remember.   (And my memory extends back quite a few years.)  So what’s going on?  Who’s tampering with the weather patterns?

If we get politicians involved in the discussion, it will be the usual story — blame the other party, or blame Bush.  (I’ve heard someone on CNN blame Bush for wildfires in California one time, believe it or not.)  What we need is a solution.  Fortunately, we’ve already had this discussion.   Now we just need someone to make it happen.  (While ice cream sandwiches might not solve the problem, they sure would make it more bearable.)  The case for this can be framed in many potential voting demographics — the heat is dangerous to children, to the elderly, to the unemployed who can’t afford their cooling bills, to illegal immigrants forced to work outside in unfair conditions, etc.  You get the idea.  So call your state representatives and tell them it’s too hot and we have a solution!

how to prevent hurricanes

If you know much about weather, you know that mankind does not possess the ability to stop a hurricane.  Hurricanes are kinda like a migraine headache in that regard — unstoppable once it gets going.  In fact, a migraine feels kinda like a hurricane in your head.  Or a tornado.  But I digress.

Anyway, we cannot stop a hurricane once it gets started.  I’ve heard that Hurricane Katrina contained the energy equivalent of 150,000 atomic bombs, and released enough of that energy to power the United States for a year.  Amazing!   If only we could capture a fraction of that power.  But that’s another discussion.  (I almost digressed again…)

satellite photo of Hurricane Jeanne from 2004So obviously the key to stopping a hurricane is to prevent it from forming.  That may sound impossible, and it almost is, but I learned from The Discovery Channel where hurricanes (affecting the U.S.) come from.  The whole process starts from hot, dry air from the Sahara Desert.  Pockets of that hot, dry air get released over the ocean about every three days, and then convection and evaporation and condensation and stuff take place, and hurricanes are formed.  So one possible solution would be to destroy the Sahara Desert.   I know, that sounds crazy, but think about it — the climate of the Sahara is such that its inhabitants have to live elsewhere.  So who would it inconvenience?  It would save a lot of money when we don’t have destructive hurricanes!

I can see some people opposing that plan.  Fortunately there’s another potential way to stop hurricanes.  During the convection process, clouds form and begin to rotate because of the rotation of the Earth.  So obviously if we stopped the Earth’s rotation, that would prevent hurricanes from forming.  However, this plan would have some major side-effects, like perhaps altering gravity, and we might lose the Moon.  I’m sure some other bad things would happen too, so I can see this idea being vetoed.

Perhaps instead of destroying the Sahara Desert, we should just cover it with solar panels to capture the heat.  And since the Sahara Desert is one of the hottest places in the world, this could also reduce global warming, and it would be a clean, green, unlimited, renewable energy solution.  Sounds perfect, right?  That could be quite expensive, which is probably why it hasn’t been done.  But it would produce untold amounts of clean energy, which everyone wants these days.  Since a large up-front investment is needed, you can start sending in donations, and I’ll do this whenever I get enough money, and it’ll be a win-win for everyone.  You can give using various denominations of cash, check, credit card, and bacon.

why the weather changed drastically

Yesterday the temperature here was 80 degrees, and today we’re getting sleet / freezing rain during the day.  I figured out why — the weather is frontin’…  🙂

it’s now winter, they say

As you might’ve heard, winter officially started today, December 21, at 6:04 AM CST.  But I have a problem with this.   See, we had lots of ice here a few days ago, which is most definitely winter weather.  But according to some official consensus, we were getting ice and snow in the fall.  And this is in Arkansas, where we rarely get ice and snow.   Some places in the country have had feet of snow already!

So obviously the system is broken.   And I’m not afraid to challenge the status quo.  We need to devise a new system for determining the seasons.  Now before some sticklers for traditions get crazy over my ideas, I know why the current system is setup.   It’s based on the winter solstice, which is the shortest day of the year.  And I could use more terms like equinoxes and diurnal movements and such, but all that isn’t necessary at this time.  Because whatever it’s based on now, it doesn’t work.

I propose we use a system based on the actual weather.   That just makes a lot more sense.  (Maybe too much…)  I know, it would vary depending on where you are, but that’s fine.  Once it starts snowing, then it’s winter.  When snows have ended and the average high temperature is in the 50s or 60s, then spring is starting.  When the average high temperature starts exceeding 90 degrees, it’s summer.   And so forth.  And note that I’m basing these numbers on Arkansas.  Your results may vary.

Is this too much to ask?  Or can someone suggest a viable reason for keeping it the way it is?