Friday, July 6, 2012

In DC Heat News, It's Cool to Know What Words Imply

Particularly with the recent heat wave envoloping the nation's capital, Washingtonians have been checking out the AlertDC emergency messaging system for weather alerts.

Saturday, June 7th, 2012 is predicted to be a particular scorcher with expected highs of 105. And AlertDC very much wished to communicate to DC's citizens just how bad it would be.

Unfortunately, they're doing it wrong.

NWS has issued an Excessive Heat Watch, effective from Saturday afternoon through Saturday evening. Although tomorrow will once again be very hot, with highs near 100, Saturday is expected to be torrid. Dewpoints are expected to remain the lower 70s all day (i.e. high humidity). That will likely make the high temperatures of 100-103 feel like 115 degrees.

Oh, dear. While torrid does mean "giving off intense heat" according to Merriam-Webster, it usually has sexual connotations a la Merriam-Webster's second definition: "ardent, passionate." And, of course, this did not go over the heads of this well-educated city.

As DCist pointed out,

To wit, here are some things that are described as torrid far more often than the weather:

In all fairness,  those things, along with the weather, will cause many to feel uncomfortable and pretty sticky.