Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Ice Has Broken

Isn't it fascinating the way a turn of phrase can mean different things in different regions?  For instance, where I grew up in Pennsylvania, rivers and creeks froze solid in the winter. As temperatures rose and stayed consistently warmer, loud cracks and snaps heralded the "icebreak"--when the frozen expanse of solid water broke into chunks and melted. It was the first indication that Spring had finally arrived. Of course, the temperatures were still in the "need to bundle up" range, but at least it wasn't frostbite weather.

Here in Tucson, "The Icebreak" means something exponentially different. First, we don't have water in our rivers unless flood conditions occur. Secondly, Spring only occurs as a drive-by on its way to northern climes. We go from "better take a jacket" to "Find shade, find shade NOW!" So for us, "The Icebreak" is that wonderful day when the official temperature at the airport reaches 100 degrees F. And yes, we hit it this past Sunday, April 22nd.

Admittedly, it's early. This is only the second time we've hit the century mark in April since they've been keeping weather records. The first earliest was April 20, 1989 -- and we went on to have the hottest summer temps ever that year. Get yer sunscreen in fifty-five barrel drums!

Image via http://www.veryhappypig.com
Like the lizards that populate my front yard--which is landscaped for the desert ecosystem without grass or non-native plants--I relish the dry heat. The day we hit the record temp of 116 F, I was out playing golf. Drank three gallons of water, true, and commented to my husband that it felt a bit toasty, but I honestly didn't know it was that hot. Humidity is what makes higher temperatures miserable, and we get enough of that in July, August, and September.

 So goodbye, Spring! Nice of you to pop by. Hello Summer! I have my hats, sunglasses with 100% UV-everything blocked, beach towel for the car seat, driving gloves for the heated metal buckles and steering wheel, and super sun block.

Bring it on, Sun Dude.



Linda LaRoque said...

Fun post, Jude. Spring will be short for us here in Texas but not that short. We've reached 90 already and today it's already 86. Unfortunately we're never really dry here. I love the dry heat but to me even dry heat at 116 degrees in too hot. I taught school down in Presidio and before school was out it was 110 with some humidity. I feared for the kids walking home from school. They'd say, "It's not even hot yet, Miss."

Jude Johnson said...

LOL, "Not even hot yet"--I've said that meself. ;-) Amazing what you can get used to, isn't it?

It's always funny during the summer to see people here carrying jackets and coats. You know exactly where they're going: to the movie theater, where the AC is at least 30-40 degrees colder than the outside.


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

And I love your sunny little guy!

We are in the humid climes. Our daughter in Phoenix wears silk, we wear cotton, loose and flowing.

Atlanta 1979-1987, had the perfect springs, for two months, everything in bloom, but not all at once: sequentially, every day prettier than the last.

Rita Bay said...

Here in the deep south, we're not used to freezing temps, certainly not freezing over. I remember the canals and shallow parts of the bay freezing over twice in my lifetime. We do, however, have frequent periods 100% humidity in the 90s+. It's like breathing in an aquarium. Rita