Tips for finding cooler July weather

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 18, 2017

By Skip Rigney

Late July is the height of summer, which means that some of us are vainly wishing for cool relief from the seemingly endless string of hot days, warm nights, and relentless humidity.

Air conditioning, the twentieth century technological marvel for which I am a thousand times more thankful than the smartphone, allows some of us to hibernate in the cool comfort of homes, offices and vehicles.

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Those working outside or in spaces without air conditioning stay cool as best they can until they return to the artificially-induced 75-degree climates provided by Carrier, Trane, Rheem, or a similar purveyor of relief.

There is another way to experience cooler weather in July. Take a trip.

You might be tempted to head north. That may work, but you have to be careful. For example, if you traveled this past weekend to the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, you would have been greeted with high temperatures near 100 degrees.

So, here are three tips for choosing a cool vacation spot in July. While most of us won’t be taking such a trip, it’s nice to think about.

Choose a spot near cool water. Unlike the nearby Gulf of Mexico where sea surface temperatures are in the 80s, the Pacific Ocean waters along the U.S. west coast are in the 50s and 60s.

Some witty traveler famously quipped, “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.” Temperatures this week in San Francisco are forecast to range from 50s for lows to upper 60s for highs with a stiff breeze.

In fact, everywhere along the Pacific coastline from Seattle to San Diego, high temperatures this week are forecast to be in the 60s and 70s.

If a cool ocean or lake is not to your liking, you could choose to go up higher. Mountains can offer a break from the mid-summer heat.

But, you have to be willing to really up the elevation. Going to the Mile-High City of Denver, Colorado this week will only get you more 90 degree highs.

Drive 80 miles west of Denver, another mile and one-half higher in elevation to the town of Breckenridge, and you can enjoy highs in the 70s. You might even light the fireplace at night when temperatures drop into the 40s.

One final option is to simply skip out on summer altogether. Fly to the Southern Hemisphere where this and every July is winter.

Santiago, Chile is about the same distance south of the equator as Jackson, Mississippi is north of the equator. Average winter temperatures in the two cities are very similar. So, Santiago is usually a nice place to chill out in July.

However, this past weekend was nippier than either tourists or residents bargained for. An unusual winter storm brought the city 20 inches of snow, the most in decades.

For those of us who still find ourselves in Pearl River County this week, expect a continuation of hot days and warm nights.  Scattered mostly afternoon thundershowers will pop up, but the chances for a number of showers is forecast to decrease Thursday through Sunday. And, yes, rain or shine, day and night, there will be plenty of humidity.