How do people live here?

boris bubbanov

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Yeah but it's a dry heat (until it's not)

I've got many friends and family in AZ (Tucson, Bisbee, Phoenix, mainly), work's sent me there... lovely people, couldn't do the climate and I grew up in Dallas. A colleague from Tempe used to delight in telling us he never had to shovel sunshine, but he left out all the other stuff I know about the day-to-day there, and would occasionally slip up about how oppressive it can obviously be.

What I genuinely love is that people think northern New Mexico is a Phoenix-esque desert. Totally true. Stay where you are.
My first visit to Las Vegas was in 1972, and Phoenix that year as well. My opinion is, the relative humidity was considerably lower 5 decades ago, and this made 100 degrees quite easy to tolerate, I thought. But I believe we've been pumping water vapor into these environments and also the amount of pavement and other hard surfaces have skyrocketed in scale. So, the heat index is higher and there's all this thermal energy that has sunk into the surrounding environment (heat sink) and so while the amount of thermal energy from the sun is fixed, the actual conditions that were once pleasant, are now beyond miserable and well into the danger zone.

As for Northern NM, now we have to add in all the residue of smoke, from all the fires. I'm thinking of the places around Calf Canyon and Hermit Peak, where we used to camp fairly often, and now they're likely incinerated.
 

boris bubbanov

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I spent a few days in Phoenix before going to Sedona in the last week of September. It was brutal. It's not as if I'm unused to heat either living in MD.

It's still not as bad as Houston or New Orleans.
Places like Richmond, Baltimore and DC can be pretty rough, but the tough period is maybe 1/3 the length of the suffering in Houston and New Orleans (bad from Easter to Thanksgiving). Things are relatively mild (wonderful) in Winter down on the Gulf Coast, while the Richmond/Baltimore/DC combines their short but ugly summers with bone cold but wet (ugly) short winters. My opinion is, a winter in Columbus, OH or Indianapolis is easy peasy next to DC, because when it is cold, it is quite dry and this makes it pretty nice. I think super high humidity, combined with either extremes of cold or heat, is the thing one looks to avoid.
 

buster poser

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As for Northern NM, now we have to add in all the residue of smoke, from all the fires. I'm thinking of the places around Calf Canyon and Hermit Peak, where we used to camp fairly often, and now they're likely incinerated.
It's pretty rough in the immediate vicinities, work colleague has family in Mora and surrounding areas, but over here on the other side of the mountains from the fire, it's been tolerable but for the occasional air quality alert.
 

getbent

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I spent 3 summers in college framing houses during college. We started before the sun came up and knocked off about 1:30 pm. Had a great tan. Wore work boots, shorts and a nail bag... and a hat.

Had a vw bug (no air con) and just kind of stopped at one of the millions of Circle K's to get a gigantic cold drink. I grew to love the heat and the desert and all that it had to offer.

Where I live is usually 70-75 and cool at night. I love that weather... but I miss living in the snow of colorado... I think if we keep an open mind we can learn to love wherever we are if we are safe and have a nice place to sleep, food to eat etc.

Summer in Virginia was much harder for me to adapt to than the desert.
 

buster poser

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Places like Richmond, Baltimore and DC can be pretty rough, but the tough period is maybe 1/3 the length of the suffering in Houston...

...the Richmond/Baltimore/DC combines their short but ugly summers with bone cold but wet (ugly) short winters.
Spot on from my 20 years in Dallas and 15 in Maryland/DC. I actually liked the weather in the mid-Atlantic.. four seasons, weather was variable by day, and I found winter pretty mild.

Funny part about my Tempe friend ribbing my Maryland 'shoveling' is that there were years I didn't do it at all, and even a busy year was 6-7 times. Hour or two? Little tougher to get out of average high of 95F+ from May to October.

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Wallo Tweed

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I know this is off topic, but could someone please explain how AC works in a dry climate?

As I understand it AC works by evaporating water, which cools the air. I've been in the desert several times, and wrapping a wet cloth around my neck always cools me down as the water evaporates. And I think swamp coolers work by putting water into dry air, which is why they don't work during monsoon season.

But if there is no humidity to evaporate, how does AC cool the air?

Sorry for the hijack.
 

Dostradamas

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I know this is off topic, but could someone please explain how AC works in a dry climate?

As I understand it AC works by evaporating water, which cools the air. I've been in the desert several times, and wrapping a wet cloth around my neck always cools me down as the water evaporates. And I think swamp coolers work by putting water into dry air, which is why they don't work during monsoon season.

But if there is no humidity to evaporate, how does AC cool the air?

Sorry for the hijack.
Swamp coolers use evaporating water.
Air conditioners use evaporating R410A refrigerant, next year they start using R35

Not really evaporating the refrigerant I guess.
The refrigerant is a custom gas designed for its high heat absorbing and releasing ability.
The hot gas is run through a loop covered in heat dissapaiting fins under a large blower. The air flow and rapid heat disapation properties of the gas is what cools the air.
Mini splits heat and cool this way
 
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rand z

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I've been to LV a few times... basically, traveling through.

I did stop to take a look at the casinos' and downtown area.

It didn't do much for me.

imo.
 

Wallo Tweed

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Not really evaporating the refrigerant I guess.
The refrigerant is a custom gas designed for its high heat absorbing and releasing ability.
The hot gas is run through a loop covered in heat dissapaiting fins under a large blower. The air flow and rapid heat disapation properties of the gas is what cools the air.
Mini splits heat and cool this way
Thanks, for that! Clear and concise.

I used to wonder how heat pumps worked, the best answer I ever got was " It's the opposite of AC".
 

drmordo

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During the summer in Qatar, it would be 105-110F and usually around 60% humidity. It was not a dry heat. I was flying airplanes at the time, so I'd spend hours on a asphalt slab in and out of a broken airplane where both the black slab and the dark colored airplane made it even hotter.

When we moved up to Kuwait, the hottest summer temps went up to ~115F but the humidity dropped to around 25%. It felt like blessed relief even though it was even hotter than Qatar.
 

telleutelleme

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"Martha, sure seems hot outside today"
"Well Jimmy let's just stay inside with the A/C on cool"
"Darling you are so smart"
 

lowatter

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I was stationed in Tucson in '78/'79 while in the Air Force. I returned in 1989 and lived there for 13 more years. When I returned there in 1989 there was a 100 days of over 100 degrees temperatures during the late spring/summer. Try dealing with those temps. Dry heat or not...that's friggin hot.
The hottest I experienced there was 117 degrees and it was 123 degrees that day in Phoenix. I live in NW South Carolina now and that's hot enough for me(the humidity is miserable however) but I don't miss Tucson whatsoever and I can go the rest of my life without seeing another cactus.
It's going to be 99 Tuesday here and I'm REALLY not looking forward to that but it won't last very long.
 
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Mjark

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Places like Richmond, Baltimore and DC can be pretty rough, but the tough period is maybe 1/3 the length of the suffering in Houston and New Orleans (bad from Easter to Thanksgiving). Things are relatively mild (wonderful) in Winter down on the Gulf Coast, while the Richmond/Baltimore/DC combines their short but ugly summers with bone cold but wet (ugly) short winters. My opinion is, a winter in Columbus, OH or Indianapolis is easy peasy next to DC, because when it is cold, it is quite dry and this makes it pretty nice. I think super high humidity, combined with either extremes of cold or heat, is the thing one looks to avoid.
Winters in Central MD are pretty easy and short. No way would I prefer the Midwest. Those are brutal winters.
 




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