The heat broke like a bad fever back in September, but Summer refused to truly let go. The highs still hovered around ninety and the lows didn’t dip far below seventy. The humidity hung around like a gauze veil making sure we all remembered the Hell that Summer had been.
It was a very long very brutal Summer. It started in April as dry hot winds fanned the largest wildfire Georgia had ever seen. For two months the entire nation of South Georgia was covered in a thick blanket of smoke. Falling ash reminded some transplants of late snow. Each and every day was an exercise in effort to breathe.
A tropical storm walked in, declared the fire a nonentity, and two tremendous forces of nature occupied the same geographical location at the same time. Five inches of rain later, the tropical storm moved on, but left enough moisture for the humans to fight what was left of the blaze, and to breathe again. Someone made a bargain with the Devil because as the last of the fires breathed their last breath and sighed, the temperature began to rise like smoke itself. Afternoon showers popped up here and there to keep things damp but the humidity was pure hell. Triple digit heat settled in like an invisible fog that melded with each and every pore of the body human. A person could break into a heavy sweat taking a shower.
It was that damn hot and humid.
September did break the heat, or at least bend it a mite. No matter how much it tried the heat couldn’t push past ninety much anymore and couldn’t hold it long. Mornings were cool and tolerable again, even if it was hot by lunch most days, it was still survivable. But the Summer refused to leave. Like a drunken houseguest going on about the good old days and how much happier times once were, the Summer stuck around long past the date of departure. The end came slowly last night. Summer died in his sleep, it was not a peaceful death and the plug wasn’t pulled for several hours. A friend of mine called me to complain about the rapid drop in temperature. I pulled up the weather and it revealed that Dothan Alabama was down to 67 degrees. It was still 87 in Hickory Head. The drop then marched east to Bainbridge, then Whigham, Cairo, and finally Thomasville, and then, in the wee hours of the morning, the chill crept in to wake me up. Chill? It was down to 70 degrees but the humidity was gone, too. Seventy is laughable to some of the northerners, I know, but please consider that we awoke to eighty degree dawns not much more than a month ago. At noon today it was still seventy and we could see the trailing end of the front passing overhead. The temperature dropped five degrees in just a few moments. The forecast is for mornings in the lower 60’s to 50’s. The highs won’t break past 80 again for a while, perhaps. The season has changed, Summer has taken one last deep breath, and has finally, regrettably, died.