Can we go ahead and mark it down? 2011 is one of the worst weather years I can ever remember. Record winter cold, tornadoes, floods, and now this heat! I might have included last week's extraordinary and national-headline-making heat reading in my recent post about the worst storms I've ever experienced, except for the fact that a heat wave doesn't qualify. But it does qualify when the categories are "discomfort" and "dangerous."

Last Tuesday, Owensboro experienced, perhaps, the hottest day in its history when the heat index topped out at a staggering 126 degrees. It even got a mention on CNN last Wednesday--cursor down this transcript from one of last Wednesday's broadcasts and you'll see it. The anchor said he didn't even know what that means. Well, let me help; the heat index is a number which represents what the temperature the air actually feels like when you factor in humidity. And while we got a decent break from that excessive heat over the past few days, the atmosphere seems to be getting set for a another big broil. The Midwest is currently experiencing an intense heat wave that is predicted to head east over the next week. Since the East Coast has been warned, I can only assume that those of us in the Ohio Valley are gonna get smacked again as it makes its trek cross-country. So plan accordingly. Get lots of fluids--preferably water--ready. Try to limit your time spent outside, if at all possible. Check on your elder loved ones and make sure they're okay. Look out for the pets--they're saddled with fur coats 24/7/365. And, finally--and unfortunately--be prepared to pay a little extra to the utility company of your choice at month's end. The alternative is unthinkable.

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