Just in time for Memorial Day, Georgia and much of the Southeast will be expecting record high temperatures as a May heat wave sweeps across the South.
Meteorologists call these record temperatures, but visitors from northern states call it, “the raging fires of Hell.” Of course, to most Georgians, talk of the high temperatures was greeted with a shrug and a snarky “just wait ’til August.”
As anyone who has grown up in Georgia will tell you, the heat is actually bearable to natives. Most of us have come to terms with the thermometer and find that the high temps can be quite pleasant. The humidity, on the other-hand will singe the hairs off your arms the second you make contact with the outdoors. The web series “It’s A Southern Thing,” even devoted a video to southern humidity. Here it is if you haven’t seen it:
As you can see, humidity here is extreme and when you couple that with the high temperatures, Georgia summers can be brutal. If you’re not a Georgia native or if you’re planning to visit the state sometime between now and September, here are a few tips to help you stay cool in the midst of what is going to feel like a firestorm.
It is a known fact that Atlanta’s favorite elixir is able to set up an arctic blast of relief inside your body when sipped at the right temperature on a hot day. The right temperature, according to experts at Coca-Cola is between 34 and 38 degrees. Of course, you don’t need experts to tell you what your taste buds and your body already know.
Georgia summers bring this ideal temperature out even more. The hotter it gets outside the better that chilled cola feels on the inside. If you are unable to serve yourself a Coke at the ideal temperature, you can also stick your head in that refrigerator for a couple of minutes. That’s always a good way to cool down.
Use the humidity to your advantage
As covered earlier, the humidity here is enough to fog your glasses, singe your skin, and drench you after just a few moments. Use that to your advantage when you know you’re going to be outside for a while.
Make sure the air conditioning in your house is about 2 degrees cooler than you normally have it, and turn all of your ceiling fans on as high as they will go before you go outside.
When you go outside, you’re going to experience a sauna from the humidity that is going to drench your hair and your clothes. But, when you come back inside to a properly prepared house, all of that cold air and wind from the fan will turn the water from the humidity into an instant walk through a cold sprinkler. The second the air hits your body, you will feel refreshed and cool.
Enjoy a Georgia Staple
While the climate in Georgia can be sweltering, God has provided the state of Georgia with one of nature’s finest crops in the fruit that Georgia claims credit for, the peach. California and South Carolina actually produce more peaches than Georgia, but those states aren’t “the peach state,” are they?
At any rate, a summer staple here is to take those Georgia peaches, slice them up, and use them to make homemade peach ice cream. It doesn’t matter how hot it is, eating a bowl of this southern delicacy is a heavenly experience. You just have to eat it before the sun melts it.
The best way to beat Georgia’s scorching heat is to just stay inside and enjoy the air conditioning. This will give you plenty of time to catch up on that binge-worthy show you’ve been wanting to watch, find out what’s going on in the news, or work on that re-decorating project you’ve been putting off.
You shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to stay inside during the summer months. In fact, unless your family has its roots in Georgia, you’re probably here because of air conditioning. The invention and home use of the air conditioner was the driving force of southern migration from the 50s to the 70s. Prior to that, Georgia wasn’t really an option for most people looking to settle down. Could you imagine living in a state that is unbearably hot from May through September every year?
All kidding aside, staying indoors is actually your best bet. You won’t get heat stroke or sunburn.
Always park in the shade
Anyone with leather seats or black interior in their cars knows that if you can’t find a place in a parking lot with shade in the summer, you just need to turn around and go home.
If you do park in the sun and your interior doesn’t burn you, there is a good chance you’ll get a third-degree burn from your seatbelt, as it brands your unsuspecting arm or leg. You can try to cool your car down by using one of those windshield covers, but the shade is your best bet.
What about you?: What do you like to do to keep cool during Georgia’s summer months? Share your tips in the comments below.