Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How Hot is IT?

There are many places on earth that are plenty hot - record-breaking hot. In fact, there's a good chance on the day this record-breaking temperature was recorded by a meteorological station in El Azizia, Libya in 1922 there were other places hundreds of miles away that were even hotter. On September 13, 1922 the thermometer reached a blistering 136° F/57.8° C. In all likelihood, this record temperature has been exceeded since then in many places on earth, but we have no official records of the temperatures. It is important to note that when atmospheric temperatures are recorded it is not the surface temperature, where it can sometimes reach 150° F/ 66° C, but rather the air temperature at about 5 feet (1.6 m) above the surface in an enclosed shelter. Of course, it's important that the temperature sensor is not exposed to direct sunlight - the shelter is louvered to permit air flow across the sensor. Most humans don't 'hang out' where some of the hottest tempertatures on earth are regularly experienced so there aren't a lot of meterological stations in these places to reliably record extreme temperatures. Glad I am not at one of them.
The temperature sensor on the building in town showed 103 at 7:30 this evening. Not too many people hanging around outdoors, except for the "roofing" people. I feel sorry for them. It is REALLY hot out there. Have you watched Al Gore's special on "global warming" yet? Check it out.

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