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Weather blog: Our grandparents had it worse

Weather blog: Our grandparents had it worse

(KTUL) -- Every summer there are complaints about the heat. It seems, however, there are more comments every passing year. The other day I started thinking of how our grandparents got through summers without air conditioning. Here’s what I concluded: They were a lot tougher than we are today.

Air conditioning was first invented in 1902 but for residential use, they didn’t become popular until the '50s for those few who could afford them. I recall as a boy we used an old swamp cooler and sitting in front of it was a little slice of heaven on a summer afternoon.

Think about your grandparents dealing with the heat in the 1930s. August 10, 1936 Tulsa reached its all-time high of 115 degrees. Can you imagine? Most worked outside tending crops and cattle and they couldn’t go inside for some air condition relief. That year the heat was relentless. Tulsa had 22 consecutive days of 100 degrees or hotter.

It was 113 degrees July 18 and the 19 in 1936, both set record highs that stand to this day.

More recently, the summer of 1980 is one many will remember. In 1980 we had 26 days of 100 degrees or hotter high temperatures. In 1980 the average temperature in July was 91.7 degrees. Compare that to this July, where our average temperature has been a much cooler 84.2 degrees.

It has been hot this summer, but not exceptional. We haven’t even hit 100° yet. We haven’t broken any record highs and we’ve even had a little rain. So far Tulsa has had .90 inches this July, and we aren’t even half way through the month. In July of 1935 there was only a trace of rain for the entire month.

It will get hotter. We’ve got to be mindful of the dangers, pace ourselves and know that in a little over 10 weeks autumn will be here.

After that, it will be winter and folks will be wishing for warmer days.

Hang in there and remember strong our parents and grandparents were.

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