Monday, July 7, 2014

Phenology: Incredibly Pleasant Fourth of July Weekend Weather

(Reclaimed from Bubblews. Photo by Dantada at

The Fourth of July weekend is a festive time here in the U.S. Many people plan vacations around it. (For example, my family rent a good-sized park space for the extended family gathering on the Fourth of July weekend.) 

The traditional expectation is that July will be a month of very hot weather for all of North America. Most years, this expectation is abundantly satisfied in Virginia. Afternoon highs in the nineties or hundreds (Fahrenheit; forties Celsius), overnight lows in the seventies (not much below 30 Celsius), and high humidity until September, is our norm. Only people taking blood pressure medication look forward to July.

This year, July started out as expected, but then took a sudden turn for the better with temperatures more typically found in May or September. Daytime highs in the seventies, overnight lows in the sixties, low humidity, and sunshine are what we've been enjoying all weekend.

Swimming may not have been as much fun for some people as it is most years, but being on dry land has been heavenly. Even walking to and from work hasn't been bad...and today, though still unable to connect my laptop and forced to use a fellow Bubbler's laptop (I hope this won't affect our payouts), I'm online from the Tree of Fashion store! Hurrah!

The Fourth of July is traditionally when we celebrate our independence as a nation, after a hundred years or so as British colonies. Traditionally the Declaration of Independence is read aloud in a public place, and fireworks are set off afterward (usually around sunset) as a safe, wholesome commemoration of the war that followed the original Declaration of Independence. Lemonade is the traditional drink...sometimes tinted pink, and sometimes enlivened with soda water or alcohol. Dinner is likely to be grilled or barbecued outdoors. Ice cream, and cupcakes with red-white-and-blue icing, are part of some people's celebration of the Fourth of July.

This year, though, just being able to *enjoy* being out in the sun was something to celebrate.