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Lost in Translation: You Call This a Heat Wave?

The weather is really nice in London today. I was surprised when I opened the newspaper over that rarest of treats—an al fresco lunch—to find dire warnings about the “heat wave” expected to begin tonight. Apparently, temperatures are forecast to climb to about 89F tomorrow!!

Forgive me, but in my opinion this does not qualify as a heat wave. This time last year, I spent a week in Manhattan with temperatures climbing above 105F. That is a heatwave. In south Florida, where I’m from, we barely turn up the ceiling fan for 89 degrees.

Reading on, I learned that everything is relative when it comes to the tolerance for heat. Health officials said their warnings must not be taken lightly—apparently, in July 2009, 300 people were killed by a four-day heat wave which peaked at 89F. They advised people to keep out of the sun between 11 and 3, look out for vulnerable groups (like the very young and the very old) and wear "loose fitting cotton clothes, a hat and a light scarf."

Although the scarf thing sounds jaunty, I honestly would not be looking for another layer to wear today.

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