The haze of a Baltimore summer, and although I have few other town summer's to compare it too, is oppressive to say the least.
Last night walking to the Oriole game was something out of a James Bond jungle scene. A small pool of liquid had built up on my lower back before I had walked three blocks. And the air was so heavy you felt like you could grab it and throw it.
Maybe it's this city and where it is located. Too far from the ocean to get the cooling night breeze and just ladled into the mountains so that low pressure systems come and sit in the early evening raising the dew point.
"It's not the heat. It's the humidity." Some people hate this term, well those "some" people have never walked around in the gelatinous atmosphere of downtown Baltimore. You feel the most uncomfortable when the dew point hits over 70 degrees.
The blame for this hot, sticky weather, aside from it being summer at 39 degrees north latitude, lies with a high-pressure system spinning clockwise, as they do, just off the Atlantic Coast. That system brings hot, humid Gulf and Atlantic air our way.
What we do get though, which is one of my favorite nature related events in the world, are the night time thunderstorms. Once or twice a week for 20-30 minutes at a time we get a low pressure system that comes in and dumps on us with full fledged lightening and a downpour of rain. The best of these are the ones that last all night. While it doesn't help much with the humidity of course, it does clean the city and illuminate the sky with nature's fireworks.
I love the smell of the city after a heavy rain in the summer. The steam of the street rises up and smells like hot, well...hot street. It's the tar from the street and tin of the cars that combine to make this metallic washed smell that reminds you ever so slightly that Mother Nature can at any time take all this little shit we built and replace it with whatever she wants.
While I love the thunderstorms, I sure do hate the summers here when it comes to the weather. You wake up in what feels like a wet towel and you inhale bus fumes in the morning and cooking meat at night. The bars all seem to have beers just-not-cold-enough to satisfy your thirst.
Yesterday was the first of many of these days to come and it's time to batten down the hatches and raise the electric bill.