OK Max Temps for Today

elkwc(6b)June 23, 2012

Here in Elkhart we had an official 102. Thought this was interesting to look at. Hot over the whole state of OK. Jay

Here is a link that might be useful: Max Temps

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

It was hot all over, wasn't it?

Our Mesonet station recorded an official 95, but at our house, 3 different thermometers, all of them in total shade the whole day, showed 100 degrees. You still were hotter than we were.

Our forecast high for the next five days? 99-100-100-100-100. I guess the fun times in the garden are all done, and now it is going to be a battle for survival.

I am up early and ready to head out to the garden to harvest as soon as there is enough daylight that I can see well enough to avoid snakes.

After I harvest, I plan to fill the oven dehydrator with bite-sized tomatoes, and then I am going to make pickles and maybe some sweet pickle relish. Hopefully this afternoon I'll have time to bake several batches of cookies for the firefighters. I have a feeling we might be about to get busy. I had to feed them store-bought cookies on Friday (hanging head in shame as I admit that).

I'm watching Tropical Storm Debby down there in the Gulf, and hoping that in a few days she'll throw us a bone....a drop in the air temp of a couple degrees, a little rain, something, anything....and it probably isn't likely she will hit TX or LA in the right spot to send some weather relief up into Oklahoma, but at this point, she's our only hope. At least maybe the Gulf states will get some drought relief, and hopefully nothing that is too damaging.

Every year when this heat sets in I always ask myself why in the world I persist in thinking we can have gardens here in the summertime. : ) I wish I could put up spotlights and work in the dark of the night when it is so much cooler, but with our snake population, that's never going to happen.

With this heat, my bumper crop of spider mites and grasshoppers likely will explode into the biggest outbreak of both in years. The spider mites got off to an early start this spring, popping up in latest March and running wild in April, so they're all over pretty much everything, although they definitely prefer tomatoes, beans and cukes to everything else in the garden at this point. Grasshoppers weren't bad until May, and I had a warning they were coming because I went to two fires south of us (one was only a few hundred feet south of our house, but the other one was several miles south and they had the hoppers in huge numbers first) in May where I saw a huge amount of grasshoppers, which I wasn't seeing here at our place at that point. Well, they're here now.

I noticed yesterday that our bermuda grass blades are so dry and parched they're curling/rolling inward. I am not inclined to water the grass. All I've been watering is the container tomatoes, peppers, herbs and flowers, and the fruit trees we planted this past winter. Our ground is cracking and the ponds are empty. That's nothing new and I am finding it harder and harder to remember the years when the ponds didn't dry out and the ground didn't crack, which was in 2002, 2004 and 2007. At this point, 2007 seems like it was 100 years ago. At the big fire on Friday, I was in an area untouched by fire, though it was near the blackened, burned areas, and the native solanums had severe drought stress/leaf roll and looked awful. They looked so bad they made my tomatoes look good. A friend at the fire said he and his wife would be through canning in about 4 more days, and I was jealous, because I won't be finished that soon. My garden is bigger than theirs though. I am thinking the heat will end things earlier than expected, but it is too hot to be out there picking stuff all day anyway.

I'm waiting for someone to develop a big, broad-brimmed garden hat that has a tiny air conditioner inside it that keeps a gardener cool enough to work outside in high temperatures.

I saw on the news this morning that a new wildfire near
Colorado Springs broke out yesterday. It is so awful there. As hot and dry as it is here, I cannot even imagine what it is like there. I am grateful that our state has had enough rain that we're not seeing the same sorts of wildfires that Colorado residents are having to endure. Last summer's fires were so bad here and in Texas, and I hope we avoid that this summer.

We kept Chris' old dorm-size refrigerator, which is 4.3 c.f., and plug it in during the summer months so we can keep extra bottled drinks cold. Yesterday I filled it up with bottled water, bottled green tea, and Gatorade so we'd have plenty of drinks handy to remind us to stay hydrated when we're outdoors.

If it is going to be 100 degrees at my house today, Jay, then I bet you'll be 104? 106? 108?


    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 7:19AM
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Awww, Dawn. I'm so sorry to hear this. While reading I was comparing and thought "What?" I guess we've been under all the rain fall as our reserve buckets and tanks are full to the brim with fresh rainwater. Our native trees help keep temps cooler.

My 4yo has had delight in chasing the numerous toads in the garden.

while traveling through town I could not help notice parched and heated areas without shade and thought about the impending doom of native grass fires across Oklahoma. I hope. No. I pray this year provides a break from these types of hazards and that all will be safe.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 5:43PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

We had a big fire Friday, and I was in the middle of boiling down a huge pot of tomatoes into sauce for freezing. At least I was able to leave that. If I'd had a batch in the canner, I couldn't have left home until it was done.

I picked tomatoes, jalapenos, squash, okra and cucumbers today. It took me from shortly after sunrise until 3:30 p.m. and was 69 degrees with 75% RH when I went outside and was 100 degrees with 27% RH when I came imside to stay. It was a thoroughly miserable hot harvesting experience after about 10 a.m. Every time I carried another bowl, bucket or basket of produce into the house, I drank water, green tea or Gatorade and sat down inside for 5 or 10 minutes to cool off before I went back out. I really stayed out longer than I should have, but I had fallen behind on harvesting so I had to stay out in the heat and get it done. I'm going to make an early night of it and go to bed soon. I've been up since 3 a.m. and need to get some sleep so I can get up and out early again tomorrow in order to beat the heat. If I get as much done tomorrow as I did today, I'll be caught up, at least temporarily, on harvesting.

We're already having grass fires and some wildfires here, but not in huge numbers yet. Sadly, when we get good spring rain and it is followed by very dry summer weather, all that lovely green vegetation dries up and becomes more fuel for the fires. I don't remember any big wildfires in my county before 2005, but since then they have become all-too-common.

I harvested about 400 lbs. of produce today (mostly tomatoes) and it will take me several days to process all of it. I didn't even make it to the section of the garden that has 80 paste tomato plants and pole beans in it, so I'll tackle that early tomorrow. I am trying hard to get caught up on the canning, freezing and dehydrating because once the fires start, I won't be able to do it and I'll just have to freeze whole tomatoes until I am able to come back and use them. It is fairly easy to stay caught up on processing everything else, but the tomatoes are a lot more time-consuming.

The air here today is horrible--it looks smokey or hazy or both. The D-FW metroplex, where DH and DS work, has had an ozone alert for days on end. Now I see that some OK cities have one too. Must be summertime! Our high temperature topped out at 101 at our house, but I don't think it hit 100 at our mesonet station. I don't think it has hit 100 at Burneyville yet this year, but at our house, we've hit it several times already. This summer still is a lot more pleasant, so far, than last summer.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 8:16PM
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