July has become an evil month, with an incredible heat wave settling over much of the continental U.S. Wild fires (formerly known as “forest fires”) are deforesting the mountain west as surely as Rome Plows and Agent Orange denuded the Iron Triangle. The month of June was the hottest on record and July could quite likely set another record. Television weather broadcasts have displayed long lists of cities reaching and recording new high temperatures every night now. In league with the brutally hot temperatures, an immense super cell squall line downed trees and power lines all over the middle Atlantic region. People are beginning to die of heat-related causes. The probability that human causation should be considered as a mechanism for climate change is quite high. However, in the teavangelist rush to replace science with myth and an intellectual wasteland, the science of climatology and climate change is being ignored lest the teavangelists, their Christian demagogues, and corporate bible thumpers be somehow offended that they are not allowed to hasten the rush to theocracy that they believe is their right to bring about.
30 June peaked here at 101°F. July topped out at 101°F as well. The high temperature was logged about 1535. By 2200, the down slope breezes had reduced the outside temp to around 82°F All audible and visible wildlife was hunkered down in whatever shadows they could take advantage of.
At 2300, we notice distant lightning and realized that a large line of thunderstorms was bearing down upon us. These were cells with echo tops reaching 44,000 feet in elevation, much more like Midwestern thunderstorms than Appalachian storms.
We watched the radar displays and tried to calm Loki down as she frantically paced from place to place and between Gloria and me. She’s been much more frightened of storms since the tornado outbreak of 27 April 22011.
After the bulk of the squall line had passed, we lost power for 9 minutes. We just had time enough to power down the computers and to call the power company before the power was restored.
Our downstream neighbor, Mike, had been out of town all month. He returned yesterday. Last night one of his trees snapped about 30 feet above the ground and fell into his driveway. It just missed his shop, his pickup, his car parked in the shop, and his bridge over Cassi Creek. When he got his chainsaw to begin the cleanup he discovered that the downstream neighbor he had loaned it to had returned it empty of gas and oil. It will be interesting to see how the level of interaction between Mike and that family changes.
So far, we haven’t seen any large –scale damage from last night’s storm. We logged 1.22 inches of rain.