, Derry, New Hampshire


July 4, 2013

Editorial: Too hot to handle

Yogi Berra nailed it: “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”

It takes some humor to get through the weather pattern that has long outstayed its welcome.

With temperatures stuck in the 80s and 90s, gardens need extra attention. But just as the hose is being coiled after a good soaking, the sky opens up and soon there are puddles at every turn.

The windows up, windows down debate takes place daily over many breakfast tables. Dress for the beach, but bring an umbrella.

Even National Weather Service meteorologists were shaking their heads. What’s needed is a good strong cold front to break this pattern more suited to mid-August than summer’s arrival.

But they have been scarcer than nights cool enough for a blanket.

“I haven’t found one yet,” an NWS meteorologist joked last week, “but we’ll keep looking.”

Discomfort aside, the weather of late also brings with it some very real danger, from flash flooding to lightning strikes to children and animals left in locked cars.

All the things your mother told you about lightning are true. Get away from the water. Don’t shelter under a tree. Act quickly. By the time thunder rumbles overhead, lightning already has struck.

Some two dozen Boy Scouts escaped serious injury when a sudden storm rolled through their camp last week and they suffered lightning burns.

A Derry mother left her two toddlers in a locked car with the windows barely cracked while she shopped at Wal-Mart. The temperature was above 90 degrees at the time and the children were in that car for more than 20 minutes.

At that temperature, the interior of a car can reach 119 degrees within 20 minutes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

If not for the actions of several concerned citizens, the outcome could have been much worse.

Peruse the local police logs. Officers are pretty steadily called to respond to reports of dogs left unattended in this heat in parked cars.

Speak up. Get involved. Maybe you’ll save a life.

The weather will change; it always does.

But in the meantime, check on elderly neighbors, stay hydrated, keep a watchful eye on the sky and speak up for those who can’t defend themselves.

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