Jul 21

Remembering the Heat Wave of 1980

Tag: nostalgia,seasons,weatherDonna B. @ 9:54 pm

Oh yeah, it’s hot and we need rain. But it’s still not as bad as the summer of 1980:

In Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, high temperatures exceeded 100 °F (38 °C) a total of 69 times, including a record 42 consecutive days from June 23 to August 3. Dallas/Fort Worth reached an all-time high when the temperature hit 113 °F (45 °C) for three consecutive days on June 26-28. In all, the Dallas/Fort Worth area saw 29 days in which the previous record high temperature was either broken or tied. 

 That summer we were living in Dallas in an older house that had a tiny basement area containing the sump pump for the A/C. We were also broke. When the sump pump failed, our choices were don’t run the A/C or bail water until funds were available for repairs.

We bailed. For about two weeks, I think. The upside is that there was a lovely patch of green grass right outside the door.

Other than that, we didn’t suffer. We were very fortunate. Though money was tight, there was enough to stay in a house with A/C and the electricity to run it. And we were young enough and healthy enough to bail the water to keep it running.

According to this chart from NOAA (pdf), heat waves are the deadliest weather disaster. In the past 30 years, 18,458 U.S. deaths were attributed to heat waves, while the toll from hurricanes (the next deadliest weather event) is 2,901 (1833 of those from Hurricane Katrina).

Stay cool, y’hear? And keep an eye on the old folks and youngsters.

And laugh if you can.

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