It’s summer in Alabama and residents know the daytime highs of more than 90 degrees are not what have them feeling as limp and soggy as a piece of steamed broccoli. It’s the humidity.
According to National Weather Service meteorologist Jessica Talley, the heat index in Anniston should reach 108 degrees today and stay in the triple digits till the weekend. But while life in the Deep South may never be sweat-free, there are ways to fight back.
Soaked in sweat just from checking the mail?
Gadsden dermatologist Dr. Eric Baum, said there are super-absorbent powders and medications that target excessive sweating but he suggested some common sense remedies.
“Hydrate, wear light colored clothes that won’t absorb the heat, ride in vehicles with good ventilation,” he said. Baum also suggested wearing well ventilated shoes and hats and stressed the importance of moisturizing skin after leaving environments of high humidity.
Stuck door just won’t close?
David Bell, owner of A Handyman Services for nine years, offered two simple solutions for doors swollen by humidity. He said the old school method is to add beeswax to the wood, making the door easier to slide into place. But if that doesn’t work, Bell suggested removing the door’s bottom hinge and attaching a piece of cardboard to the back of it.
“This pushes it slightly out and makes the door go back into the frame,” he explained.
Power bill through the roof?
“It costs more to cool a house when it’s hot and humid outdoors, because it takes energy to condense the moisture out of the air before you cool it,” Alabama Power spokeswoman Alyson Fuqua explained.
She listed a number of ways to keep power bills from spiking during the summer months that included mopping and washing dishes, which add moisture to the air, in the coolest part of the day, keeping traffic in and out to a minimum, using light-colored blinds, shades and draperies to repel excess heat and opening crawl spaces and attic vents to increase ventilation.
Cooped up indoors to escape the heat?
The Anniston Outdoor Association organizes excursions in Alabama’s great outdoors year-round. According to director Keith Hudson, there is a marked decrease in the number of participants during the hot and humid summer months.
For residents not wanting to spend their summer vacations handcuffed to the air conditioner, Hudson said the group is hosting two canoe trips in July and will travel twice to the higher elevations of the Smoky Mountains where the temperature is cooler.
“Later in the evening, after it gets dark, I like to go bicycling on Chief Ladiga trail,” he added.
Bad hair day?
To prevent hair from frizzing in humid weather, Melissa Williams, owner of Visions Salon in Anniston, said women should make sure their hair is completely dry before going outside. She said there are anti-frizz products on the market that can work to some extent.
“But they obviously didn’t test them in Alabama,” she said.