Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

It’s hot as you know where in Minnesota July 6, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:18 AM
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I CANNOT RECALL ever watching fireworks from the car. But on the Fourth of July, my husband Randy and I sat in our air-conditioned car parked at a hilltop Faribault church and took in the patriotic display. It wasn’t only the oppressive heat and humidity which drove us into our vehicle, but also the mosquitoes.

It’s been a miserable week of weather here in Minnesota. But I don’t need to tell you that if you live here. You know.

The National Weather Service office in Chanhassen has issued an excessive heat warning for much of central and southern Minnesota numerous times during the past several days. One remains in effect until 7 p.m. tonight in southern Minnesota and west central Wisconsin with temps soaring into the 90s and a heat index of 102 – 112 degrees.

Here’s that warning defined, directly from the NWS website:

AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING MEANS THAT A PROLONGED PERIOD OF
DANGEROUSLY HOT TEMPERATURES WILL OCCUR. THE COMBINATION OF HOT
TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL COMBINE TO CREATE A DANGEROUS
SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE LIKELY. DRINK PLENTY OF
FLUIDS…STAY IN AN AIR-CONDITIONED ROOM…STAY OUT OF THE SUN…
AND CHECK UP ON RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS.

That word, “dangerous,” should be heeded.

I suspect Randy and I were feeling the effects of that heat on Tuesday when we took a day trip to Lake City. We were in and out of our air-conditioned van and Lake City businesses during the peak heat of the afternoon. I suffered an on-again-off-again headache.

Not until we were back home did Randy tell me he also had a headache and simply did not feel well. He didn’t drink nearly as much water as me and I suspect he was dehydrated and perhaps a bit overheated.

A crew patches a section of Brown County Road 29 just outside of New Ulm on Monday afternoon.

Now imagine if you were a road construction worker or a roofer or anyone else who toils in the outdoors. If we felt uncomfortable  just walking in and out of shops on a hot and humid afternoon, they must have felt 1,000 times more miserable.

Working as a flag man with the same crew under the hot afternoon sun had to be pretty darn hot.

That said, be safe and stay cool. We have one more day of this sultry, oppressive, can’t-breathe kind of day to get through until the heat and humidity levels drop.

How do you beat the heat and humidity?

Some members of my extended family beat the heat on Saturday by jumping/running/walking through a sprinkler.

Cooling off in a make-shift fire department swimming pool during a celebration in Belview.

The Belview Fire Department filled a temporary water reservoir for the kids to splash in during a tornado recovery celebration on a sultry July 1 at the city park in Belview in southwestern Minnesota.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling