Yes, it’s hot. Very, very hot. We are living on popsicles and cold sandwiches. Even turning on the microwave or the coffeemaker seems like a bad idea, like I might be encouraging the heat to keep it coming.
But it’s all right. We’re built tough here in Kentucky, and while we may be prone to a case of the vapors here and there, a little heat never hurt — it’s just one more thing to be tolerated, to be endured, chin up, chest out, and flip-flops firmly in place.
Hot times. Although not the hottest ever. We have to reach back almost 90 years for that distinction here in the Bluegrass State.
Kentucky’s highest-recorded temperature was 114 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded in the city of Greensburg on July 28, 1930. Greensburg is in Green County, about as smack in the middle of the state as you can get.
The National Weather Service called that day “arguably the hottest single day in Kentucky history …. Nearly everyone saw readings above 100 degrees.”
The day, according to the NWS, was “one of a lengthy string of extremely hot days, with many weather stations reporting temperatures well over 100 degrees for several days before the 28th and a couple of weeks after.”
The title for hottest summer on record in much of the state, though, goes to the months of July and August in 1936.
As Stephanie Dunten and Tom Reaugh of the NWS report:
“The summer of 1936 is legendary for intense heat coupled with an extreme lack of rainfall. While the entire first half of the year was unusually dry, true drought conditions developed with a vengeance in June ….
“Then came the searing heat. The last few days of June saw afternoon temperatures reach around 100 degrees, followed by a brief break in the heat for the first three days of July. However, the hot weather had only just begun. Every day from July 8 through 15 all major reporting stations in Kentucky reported 100-degree temperatures.”
Another heat wave came through during the last half of August, with several more 100-degree-plus days noted across the state.
So, yeah, it’s hot now. But it could be worse.
Some people are already looking back at the 2009 ice storm with longing. To this I say, are you out of your minds?
I’ll take 95 — heck, I’ll take 114 — before I go through that again. Keep the power on, the water running and the grocery stores open.
The days spent with nothing but the sound of chainsaws cutting limbs and generators running is still a memory that causes a chill in many of us (no pun intended).
I’ll take the heat. And if I can’t, as they say, I’ll just stay out of the kitchen. Except for trips to the freezer. That’s where the popsicles are.
(THE TIMES LEADER is a member of the Kentucky New Era Media Group.)