Feelin’ hot, hot hot
If these are the dog days of summer, today and Thursday could tie for best of show.
A high temperature of 90 degrees is expected today, according to Al Cox, weather service specialist for the National Weather Service in Reno. Thursday will be hotter, with 91 degrees expected. The regional weather service Web site predicted even higher temperatures, with highs in the upper 90s for the Lake Tahoe Basin.
The hottest day ever was 96 degrees, recorded in Glenbrook on July 17, 1960. That thermometer, near Glenbrook’s fire station, is situated 6 feet off the ground and shaded.
On Tuesday the mercury hit 88 degrees on top of Daggett Pass at 7,300 feet, according to climatologist Kelly Redmond of the Western Regional Climate Center in Reno. It is the hottest July 9 in 15 years of monitoring temperatures at the Kingsbury Grade site.
“The high pressure is clamping a lid on top of us,” Cox said. “But the saving grace of this area is that we do cool down at night.”
Low temperatures will range from 49 to 52, a difference that makes the heat easier to handle, he said.
“The afternoon highs and the morning lows are more dramatic here because we don’t have the marine influence of more humid climates,” Cox said. “Our bodies handle evaporation more quickly, so we cool more efficiently.”
Like a Tahoe resident dismissing a snowstorm to a flatlander, construction workers at Stateline kept the heat in perspective.
“This isn’t hot,” Jeff Hicks, a superintendent for Perini Building Company, said. “This is beautiful. A lot of us are from Las Vegas. I’m just trying to stay up here.”
His construction foreman, Tommy Makara, agreed.
“I just spent a half a day under a house in Gardnerville yesterday,” he said. “That was all I could take. You need shorts down there.”
At the quick-stop markets in town, people were buying bottled water and Gatorade two at a time.
The South “Y” Shell ran out of bottled water and was restocking Tuesday for the weekend. At the Emerald Bay 7-Eleven store, Assistant Manager William Kellogg had bottled water displayed in three places.
Jim Doherty and his landscaping crew were trying to stay cool tending the flower beds in front of Embassy Suites at Ski Run Boulevard.
“The heat wears on you,” Doherty said. “But most yards have shade. We’re trying to finish this job so we can move to a shady one.”
Reno is expecting a high of 103 today and 104 Thursday, which would be two degrees shy of the 106-degree record, set in 1931. Sacramento will sizzle with 109 and 108 degrees, respectively.
In Zephyr Cove, visitors are doing their horseback riding before noon, said Louise McGill, owner of Zephyr Cove Riding Stables.
“It’s pretty warm out here, and our shorter trail rides can get hot and dusty in the afternoons,” McGill said.
The coolest place in town may be the new South Lake Tahoe ice arena. Manager Gary Moore said he’s had a few out-of-town campers walk over and tell him how nice it feels inside the building.
“We all laugh,” he said. “This is Tahoe. Everyone here loves hot weather.”