By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Well, pretty much everyone knows Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, but for those who didn’t, Mother Nature was fairly quick to inform them Monday.
The day was sweltering by 9 a.m., with a thick blanket of humidity pressing down on the already soupy air. The intermittent breeze that whispered lightly through trees and around buildings did little to provide a respite from the oppressive heat, especially if you were unfortunate enough to be standing without the benefit of shade.
Summer is here, folks! And it’s here in classic Valley style: with triple digit heat indexes and humidity so high it’s hard to imagine how air can be so wet in the absence of rain.
My sister likes to joke that the Valley only experiences two seasons, rather than the traditional four. Where other places have fall, winter, spring and summer, we here in the RGV have only summer and “hot summer.” Hot summer lasts about 8 months out of the year.
It’s that time of year where everyone brings out their best lemonade and sweet tea recipes (I like cucumber lemonade), where trips to the store are planned for early morning or after sunset, and where, even in an air-conditioned building, it’s best to try to sit still between 2-3 p.m., so as to not work up a sweat.
We’ve gotten a few thundershowers here and there, mostly in the evenings. Normally, I’m a big fan of summer rainstorms because they tend to scrub the air clean and cool things off for a bit. But even the sporadic rain hasn’t been able to make a dent on the heat, it seems.
I hate to say it, but I think we’re in for another hot one this summer. If you have to be outdoors at all, please remember to be safe. Stay hydrated; don’t wait until you’re desperate with thirst to drink water. Wear light, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Wear a hat, if you can, and apply sunscreen liberally and often. Even 15 minutes of sun exposure on our beautiful South Padre Island beaches can be enough to cause a sunburn.
And speaking of those beaches, remember that the white sands, which easily soak up the sun, can burn the soles of your feet, so wear sandals or other beach-friendly footwear.
The forecast for the next week calls for the possibility of more thunderstorms. In our temperate climate, water and heat make for a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Help keep the disease carrying pests at bay by getting rid of any standing water around your home, such as can gather in flowerpots or other containers.
And if you’re going to kick off this summer with a fun athletic challenge by participating in the Second Annual Longest Causeway Run this Saturday, remember that it will still be hot out there even with the earlier 7 a.m. start time. Hydrate up in the days before the run.
We may not be able to do anything to change the weather, but we can control how we prepare for and deal with it. Let’s all have a safe summer season. And as always, visit us online at www.portisabelsouthpadre.com.
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