Aestophobes of the Pacific Northwest unite!

Endless summer is not quite what we thought it would be

By Morf Morford, Tacoma Daily Index

We in the Pacific Northwest are well known for being “weather wimps”; we don’t like cold weather and, as we have been learning this year, if we didn’t know it before, we don’t like hot weather.

And for us, “hot” means anything over about 85 degrees (F).

Some (don’t) like it hot

We can handle a day or two of those temperatures, but a week or two or even a month or so creates aestophobes of us all.

An aestophobe is one who hates, or at least dreads, hot weather.

If you find yourself experiencing any of these physical symptoms, you probably are, to some degree, an aestophobe;

  • sweating
  • trembling
  • hot flushes or chills
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • a choking sensation
  • rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • pain or tightness in the chest
  • a sensation of butterflies in the stomach
  • nausea
  • headaches and dizziness
  • feeling faint
  • numbness or pins and needles
  • dry mouth
  • ringing in the ears
  • confusion or disorientation
  • hyperventilation
  • tightness in the chest/chest pain and difficulty breathing
  • rise in blood pressure
  • And then there are psychological symptoms like these:
  • fear of losing control
  • fear of fainting
  • feelings of dread
  • fear of dying
  • fear of harm or illness
  • guilt, shame, self-blame
  • withdrawing from others
  • feeling sad or hopeless
  • feeling disconnected
  • confusion, difficulty concentrating
  • anger, irritability, mood swings
  • anxiety and fear

I don’t know about anyone else, but it certainly seems that everyone I know seems to be coping with about 90% of those symptoms.

And they seem to be reflected in our news headlines.

By any standard, the past couple years have been a challenge.

Record setting dry and hot weather in our area have combined to help us feel even more disoriented.

There’s good reason to be not entirely comfortable about hot weather; heat kills far more than any other aspect of weather.

But, no matter what one’s political or philosophical beliefs about climate change might be, we all know that this weather is no fluke – and that it will only get more intense and extreme in the seasons and years to come.

The weather we once cursed and complained about, our seemingly permanent gray drizzle, seems, to many of us, ideal – or at least a welcome respite from the constant blaze of a summer that never seems to go away.

We’ll mourn it when it’s gone, of course, but nothing, for many of us, says home like a comforting all-day drizzle.

We’ll complain about that too, because that’s what we do.

But many of us will secretly welcome the return of cooler weather.

The autumnal equinox will come on Thursday, September 22, at 6:03 p.m.

And for some of us, that won’t be soon enough.

Other areas might have their fancy resorts and elaborate vacation packages – and some have hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts and flash floods, but when it comes to weather that won’t kill us and we don’t have to scrape off our windshields, I’ll take our weather any time.