98 Degrees

It’s 98 degrees out there, and humid.

I tell this to people who have never experienced this kind of heat and they say things like,

“Well, that certainly sounds hot.”


“What’s that in Centigrade?”


“I have no idea what that feels like.”

To address these points, allow me to take them in reverse.

I Have No Idea What 98 Degrees Feels Like

Yes, you have, but probably not on the outside of your body. So here’s what I propose:

Close your mouth for a minute or so. Then stick your fingers down your throat. (Try not to gag)

That? That’s body temperature which is around 98.2 (±1.3) °F.

That’s what the air feels like.

And the gag reflex? That kicks in after about 30 minutes outside.

Also if you could put your oven on for me, until it gets up to a decent temperature, then open the door and stick your head right in front of the rush of hot air that happens as you open it? That would be what it’s like when the wind blows.

And for the humidity (which isn’t as bad yet as it can get), if you could please go and boil the kettle. I’ll wait.

OK, done? Good. Now, pour some of the boiled water into a bowl. Place your face over the bowl and take a big breath.

That horrible wet choking sensation where it feels hotter than the air really is, and where you feel like your struggling for breath and where your hair sticks to your face making you feel even worse than before? That’s “humid”.

What’s That In Centigrade?

I don’t know because not only does the US eschew the eminently sensible metric system, they don’t even do that thing that Britain did when I was growing up, of showing everything on two scales, so everyone learned to sort-of-semi-convert-things in their heads.

But, because I love you, I’ve Googled it. It’s 36.66666etc°C.

Which actually doesn’t sound that terrible. I’ll get back to you in August when it hits 104 (40C).

Also, 98°F is 306.9 Kelvins. That sounds much more like how it feels.

Well, That Certainly Sounds Hot

Yup. There was a heat advisory on the radio this morning that said things like,

“If you must be outside, drink four cups of water every hour.”


“If you start to get a headache and feel nauseous, get into the shade, try to get cool and, if it doesn’t get better within 20 minutes, seek medical help.”


“Don’t leave anyone inside a closed car, even for a few minutes. It could be fatal!”

Which is why I’m inside, playing on the computer on “such a beautiful day”…

One thought on “98 Degrees

  1. Fiona

    Thank you for clearing that up. Remind me again why our forebears thought it would be a good idea to populate that country with pasty-faced Europeans?

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