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Old 04-27-2008, 10:56 AM
 
47,586 posts, read 32,272,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnjoyEP View Post
Wow, I don't know malamute, you have a tolerance for warmth / heat like not many do. 85 with that strong desert sun beating down "sweater weather"?? Sure, if you are used to summering in Death Valley!!

85 with a strong sun in the Southwest isn't terrible by any means at all, but I would say most would qualify it as from warm-to-toasty. Not blazing hot, but I think to put a sweater on there, one would first need to douse themselves with a jug of Arid Extra Dry (even with the low humidities)!



I know from the EP forums your love for the heat / warmth, but wow, I would say 95 - 100 - at least to myself - in say El Paso, or Cruces, or ABQ, is still a pretty sizzling day. Again, not the soupy uncomfortable mess that say 94 with super-high humidity in New Orleans is, but I tell you what, when you are walking along under a cloudless sun-baking-down 98 degree desert sky (and you feel like you are in an oven), most wouldn't consider it ideal or necessarily comfortable; (I guess though if you did it coming from 116 degree Phoenix that day, you might say it is comfortable! ).

I guess it is somewhat all relative. With the strong sun in a Las Cruces, Carlsbad, Deming, El Paso, T or C, Albuquerque, etc, my ideal temp would be 65 to 81, 82, etc. If the sun isn't out in those cities, then I would say ideal would be more 70 to 84ish.

The other thing though is that in the high desert, the highest temperatures for the day only last a couple hours. It could easily be 55 in the early morning, reach a peak of 85 and then start dropping back down.

It's not like the high humidity regions where it might be 85 and sticky hot all night long and then reach 95 with even more mugginess.

The beauty in desert heat is that you never feel sweaty. You can go out hiking in 100 degrees and as long as you have plenty of water, you'll feel great.

It is also a lot about mind over matter though which I think can be true about living anywhere. I think if you forced yourself you could find things to like about 20 below zero also. I've actually done that also, I just prefer forcing myself to like 100 degrees which is far easier to do. If I had to live in the humid balmy South I think I would have to force myself to like that humid feeling.

Still --- 85 degrees in the SW is very pleasant, it's not hot until it gets up in the high 90's.
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Old 04-27-2008, 11:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnjoyEP View Post
This is the aspect of NM summers that often-times long-time locals / natives don't factor in.

Yes, there is no humidity (or little) which is a BIG PLUS and very nice, but that sun can really bake down hard. If you are in shade, that is a big plus, but if you are in the sun, it can get hot, baking, and with the inability to sweat (due to the low humidity), it can feel very, very hot.

Summer is nearly my least favorite season in the glorious weather that is the mid-section of New Mexico; beautiful in the evenings/early AMs, but the hearts of the day are hotter-than ideal (as a runner, sometimes humidity and some filtering clouds/humidity aren't the worst things in the world).
Actually you do sweat, it just evaporates quickly cooling you off. At the end of a warm NM day outdoors, you have a couple layers of salt on you.

I've been to Chicago when it was 95 degrees and I thought it was absolutely miserable. Unbearable even. It's a different kind of heat. Even 105 in the SW isn't unbearable as long as you have big cold iced tea to carry around.

You even see people doing team roping and riding bikes, running when it's close or at 100 here. In the dog days of summer when the temperatures are trying to reach 100, the sun is beating down hard on you, there is nothing at all better than a hot plate of enchiladas and a cold cold beer in a place that has nothing more than a celing fan. The nearest thing to heaven.
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgoodwx View Post
It reminds me of the times I've gone back to Mississippi (where I grew up) to high school reunions and had people ask me (while we're soaking in sweat on a deep-south, sultry July day) how I could stand the heat in New Mexico! ... Little do they realize how pleasant the summer can be where I live...6100 feet above sea level.
Yep, I would say that any place at 6000 feet or above will almost always, unequivacably, be more comfortable in New Mexico in the summertime that most anywhere in the deep south.

I would say in the heat of the summer, Albuquerque can be just as hot (although in a different way) and uncomfortable as a typical city in MS from, say, 11am or 12noon until 7pm. Again, this discomfort feeling would be similar, but in a different way. However, then all of those hours from 7pm until 11am or 12noon again the next day (the what, 16 hours or so) are clearly more comfortable in ABQ - usually by far - than they would be in MS.

With my above scenario for a Carlsbad or a Las Cruces, you'd probably bump it to 9am until 8pm or so. So there, "only" 13 hours of far better summertime weather.

I do actually guess I don't mind humidity as much as many others here on the NM forum, and find a closer similarity between the baking, hot, unfiltered (by humidity or clouds or long rainstorms) sun and high humidity levels; I admit this is just a personal preference thing. However, to me the "NM air" or "desert air" wins clearly anyway for two main reasons: a) the lack of mosquitos / general air-born biting bugs (making being outdoors - especially after sunset, so much more pleasant), and b) the much-needed beautiful post-sunset-to-early AM cooldown in the desert which is heavenly in a long stretch of 90 to 105 degree highs.
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
The other thing though is that in the high desert, the highest temperatures for the day only last a couple hours. It could easily be 55 in the early morning, reach a peak of 85 and then start dropping back down.

It's not like the high humidity regions where it might be 85 and sticky hot all night long and then reach 95 with even more mugginess.
Now this is true 'mal. I was just talking about when it was 85 degrees itself.

But indeed, the desert evening cooldown is a slice of heaven.
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Metromess
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I must say that I don't tolerate high humidity with heat very well. Here in Ft Worth, TX, I'm already looking forward to autumn, dreading the summer nights when the temperature stays at 80 degrees or above. I'd much rather be in Albuquerque than Mississippi!

I've been where it's hot and dry and find that immensely preferable. The cool nights are indeed a slice of heaven. I can hardly wait to move to NM or trans-Pecos Texas (Ft Davis/Alpine/Marfa).
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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Agree with all above. The worst thing about high humidity heat is tossing, turning and sweating in your sheets at 3 AM or spending 24 hours per day with the windows closed and air conditioner running. I suspect you don't find that anywhere in NM. My experience is that the heat starts breaking around 4-5pm* and drops as much as 40 degrees F.

I have no data for this -- just my personal experience at 6,000 feet. I have seen plots for any given day, but not averages. If any body has data, I'd be interested in seeing it.

Last edited by Devin Bent; 04-27-2008 at 04:52 PM..
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque
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Well, I grew up in Mississippi, lived there another 11 years as an adult, and have been in New Mexico 20 years. I believe I can honestly say that...the worst summer day I've EVER experienced in Albuquerque was better than an average summer day in Mississippi. Short story: When my son was 4 years old, we went on a trip back to Mississippi to visit relatives. We flew into New Orleans, rented a car, drove to McComb, MS and we decided to show our son where his grandfather grew up. We stopped in McComb at 3 PM on a July afternoon. The sun baked down. The air refused to move at all. Gnats and a few mosquitoes buzzed around us. We were instantly sticky. In short, it felt awful. We walked for about one minute through a town park. My son was dragging behind my wife and I. I looked around at him. He was on the verge of tears. He had never experienced the world of sweat. He wiped his forehead and looked frantic. "I'm melting!" he exclaimed. We had to convince him his life was not over. Now...that's Mississippi in the good ole summertime.
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgoodwx View Post
I believe I can honestly say that...the worst summer day I've EVER experienced in Albuquerque was better than an average summer day in Mississippi.
Another goodpost mrgoodwx as i wish i could keep giving you reps . Now i ''cry'' alot about the cold in ABQ in the winter (just ask EnjoyEP ) But know exactly what you mean about the humidity in the south as although i really like Jacksonville and the Florida beaches when i lived there (90-95) but in the summer/fall season as soon as i got home from work i would turn on the A/C and never turned it off until the next morning when i went to work as you sweat profusely and it's tough to sleep with sweat in your hair and all over your arms and your shirts stink alot etc...where as here in ABQ i usually just get by with the Cieling Fan or my rotating Oscillating Fan on. Also back in Jax in the 90's before the energy crises my Electric Bill ran me about $130.00 a month out there and now i wonder how much it would cost out there.

Here we are 3 days away from May 1st and it's 67 degrees with my Oscillating Fan on low speed. Very nice indeed !!!
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:23 PM
 
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Many years ago on my first time on Interstate 20, I stopped for gas in Midland, Texas. Noticed on the city limit sign that elevation was 2895 ft. Hmm, only a couple hundred feet less than Carlsbad, I thought. Stopped again in Big Spring, maybe 30 miles east of Midland. I got out of my car and noticed the change immediately. Catman has a good point in that part of Texas. The Alpine, Fort Davis area is low humidity, guessing elevation to be 3,000 ft. or so. It's a nice are, I've been through. The noted attraction there is the McDonald observatory.
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Trans-Pecos Texas
8,026 posts, read 11,128,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUBLE H View Post
Many years ago on my first time on Interstate 20, I stopped for gas in Midland, Texas. Noticed on the city limit sign that elevation was 2895 ft. Hmm, only a couple hundred feet less than Carlsbad, I thought. Stopped again in Big Spring, maybe 30 miles east of Midland. I got out of my car and noticed the change immediately. Catman has a good point in that part of Texas. The Alpine, Fort Davis area is low humidity, guessing elevation to be 3,000 ft. or so. It's a nice are, I've been through. The noted attraction there is the McDonald observatory.
Here you go...Google Earth, from each town's center:

Fort Davis: 4902
Alpine: 4481
Marfa: 4690
Marathon: 4633

I lived in Midland for thirty years...and I did not ever notice a city limit sign with an elevation on it!!! Dang!!!! The farther west you go out toward Gardendale, the higher it gets. Parts of the county are over 3,000 ft.

For what it's worth, Midland today is a lot more humid than it was 25 years ago.
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