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So Hot Right Now

By Andrew Peerless in News on Jun 24, 2005 2:02PM

On the list of things Chicagoist loves about summer, "being a sticky, sweaty mess by the time you're done walking the block to the Red Line each morning" ranks somewhere between Cubs traffic and mosquito bites. We do somewhat enjoy watching the napkin brigade openly mop the sweat from their foreheads as they suffer on crowded trains, but overall, we'd generally prefer that it be a little cooler out there.

Image courtesy of themirrorpool.comAnd we're not alone: much of our fair state is suffering under oppressive heat and drought-like conditions, the result of an unusually dry spring and rainfall levels that are up to 4 inches below average. If Ol' Granny can't remember the last time things were this bad, she's not just senile: conditions last hit these lows in 1922 (back before coldness was even invented!).

Unless significant rain comes our way within the next few weeks, Mother Nature's tomfoolery could spell disaster for plenty of the folks that rely on balanced seasons for their livelihood: gardeners, commercial and industrial riverboat operations and, especially, farmers. Reports from downstate indicate that crops are about half the size they were last year. Weather patterns during the critical next few weeks will decide if this season is a boom or a total bust, so let's all keep our fingers crossed for our agricultural brethren down south...

Oh, more bad news: those funny little culex mosquitos, carriers of West Nile virus, just love dry weather like this. They've caused plenty of issues around these parts over the past few years, and should be having one hell of a hatch-e-nanny right about now, so consider adding DEET to the daily regimen of things you smear on yourself before leaving the house.

"When will the misery end?" you ask. Local forecasts are conflicting wildly about what exactly the next few weeks have in store, but nobody seems to be predicting significant rainfall (other than a few possible thunderstorms). The heat is likely to continue, however, so we're just giving thanks for the Chicagoist office's "No Shirt, No Shoes... No Problem!" policy.

Image courtesy of the Mirror Pool