Jul 20, 2011


It's been a filthy hot week up here in the northern wilds, so I've been swimming before and after work in Clearwater Lake on a regular schedule. We get two radio stations up here: Community radio WTIP - 'The Tip' - and a terrible Canadian rock station out of Thunder Bay called 'The Giant'. It's fundraising week on The Tip so I was listening to some Fine Young Cannibals on The Giant while painting some signage in the workshop - I really enjoyed their weather reports, which are fairly accurate for our location. Of course they use Celsius! But my favorite part is the regular updates on wild fire smoke- and haze-forecasting and the use of 'The Humidex'. This is Canadian for 'heat index'. Today the Humidex reached 35!!! 44-thousand hectares or forest were burning out of control, haze everywhere! Whoa!

When the heat wave hit the north I knew it was time to trim down on the hair. I gave myself an emergency hair- and beard-trim with a tiny scissors, looking in a tiny mirror, but I think it turned out OK. I kept trimming here and there for several days as I discovered lingering longies, and my brains have breathed perfectly throughout this spike in the Humidex.

This abnormal humidity-event was capped today by an unusual storm, which dropped 9 inches of rain in total on July 20. I awoke to a strobe-light monsoon at 4 a.m., and between then and 8, we got 8 inches, which nearly sunk the fleet. Had we not gone out in the storm at 7 a.m. to emergency bail the vessels, they probably would have sunk. All our roads were washed out. I spent the day shoveling gravel into the roads-turned-stream, and then after dinner it rained another inch. The lake is up nearly a foot already in one day!

And yet the humidity persists and I sit by my fan... I cannot get far enough north to escape this heat, this suffocating Humidex... These fires of summer...

Addendum (7.22.11): I wanted to also note the concept of a 'personal humidex'... as in: Geesh, my humidex is at 50c right now... I need to jump in the lake.