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And That's A Good Thing?

by Nick Coons
Jun 9, 2004

Being an Arizona
Arizona(air-i'-ZON-u')

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

native, I'm quite proud of this state, with all of its great wonders. Combine that with a healthy competitive nature, and you have someone that brags about how hot it can get.

And the standard response, "But it's a dry heat! Yes, what a comeback.

Okay, so I understand humidity. You might not think so, but there are a few times when it's hot and humid. Actually, people here pay good money to gyms so they can sit in and relax in just such an environment -- A sauna.

And while the issue of comfort is usually the most common, it is also relatively unimportant. Wet, humid heat will make it more difficult for your body to cool down and your close might be sticky from the excess perspiration, there really isn't anything more that can happen to you.

On the other hand, "dry heat" is very dangerous, especially to unsuspecting. Because there is little moisture in the air, the moisture escapes your body quickly. And to someone who's never experienced before, dehydration doesn't give you much warning.

The first sign is thirst. If it's hot and dry and you feel excessively thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Beyond this, you may start to feel dizzy, light-headed, or ringing in you ears. Some of this is due to heat exhaustion, and the two go hand-in-hand. Going further, heat stroke, passing out, and worse are to follow if you don't cool down and immediately re-hydrate.

So the next time someone indicates that being in an environment described as a "dry heat" is less intense than their mildly uncomfortable but safe humidity, you'll know better.

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