Heat emergency

I’m not a big fan of following the pack when it comes to media coverage of an event. Particularly if that event is something as redundant as hot weather. But there I was last week, covering something you can’t really see as the temperatures reached close to 100 degrees. Forecasters have fancy ways of making that number appear even more extreme by adding phrases like “heat index” and “extreme heat advisory.” I think I’ll explode if I hear one more weather person explain that, “with the humidity, it feels much hotter.”

Because the heat is a popular water cooler topic at work and it affects us all in some way or another, it’s an easy topic to cover for newspapers and television news. In fact, if you look back just on this blog alone, you will notice how much weather impacts what is considered news year-round.

I had my windows rolled down on the truck and was actually enjoying the warm breeze last Monday when I noticed folks playing under the spraying water of an open fire hydrant on Lotus St. in the Austin neighborhood. I later read there were more than 250 hydrants open at one point in the city of Chicago that day. That’s actually a dangerous situation for obvious reasons, but I can’t really blame folks for taking the chance to cool off I guess.

There were about 60 people enjoying the cool water here, but at this particular moment just a man wearing a shower cap and a woman slowly moving out of the way for a car to pass through. Summer in the city.

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