There’s been a lot of complaining from my friends on facebook and twitter about the temperatures reaching triple digits. And yes, 100-plus is hot but know this: if it’s a dry heat it feels about 10 degrees less.
I grew up in Palm Springs and the most miserable summer I endured was the first one I spent in the San Fernando Valley. (It even beat the summers I spent in Chicago. At least there you could possibly get a breeze off the lake.) I’m not sure if it was the smog or the humid or both, but it was 110-degrees of gross. In the Coachella Valley, it was only really unbearable when it hit 120. Otherwise, you could still breathe and go outside. But that seems to have changed. Now that there are more golf course and more green grass, there is more humidity and the summer really can suck. That is why when it’s hot you want it to be truly dry.
In Phoenix, it’s dry. Landscaping is more brown—sand, cacti, palos verde—than green—trees, grass, planted flowers. All of the latter need water, and the more of those things are planted, the more water is in the air, and the more humid it is. Our first (and last) weeks in Phoenix were spent in 95-plus degree heat. It wasn’t bad. Actually it was quite lovely out. The same temperatures would have felt like the middle of hell in the San Fernando Valley, specifically Woodland Hills. It’s amazing what a lack of water can do to temperature perception. That’s why I’ll take a dry heat any day.