- The sun has descended into Washington. (Photo: flickr/anosmia)
If you believe the news stories and weather reports, then yes, D.C. has metaphorically been engulfed in flames throughout these few days in late July. And yes, it is hot: triple digits, everyone's reporting, with the heat index to exceed 110. At the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro station this morning, I watched a man selling different drinks for 75 cents and a dollar. And so what if drinks aren't allowed on the Metro — with heat this hyped, you better believe people are sneaking on sips. Everyone's sweating and panting somewhere. This morning, I watched a bearded man fanning himself with his free newspaper on a Metro car. Last night, I was grabbing a drink at Front Page in Dupont and a young intern shamefully revealed the sweat covering his armpits. Even the rats are out in full force thanks to this heat — my three roommates reported with pride to me last night that they've wiped out half a dozen in two days. The cover of Express today? "HOT HOT HOT."
Who is the heat affecting? Commuters. Walkers and bikers for sure and often Metro and bus riders. Drivers hopefully can avoid the worst of the heat thanks to air conditioning but they're still probably sweating something fierce at some point today. I especially sympathize with workers who have to stand outside throughout the day, and this includes many transit employees, from taxi drivers to some station managers to the people passing out copies of The Examiner.
My own morning walk to the station was hot but not excruciating. I imagine the heat will really flare up in a couple hours, and I am not planning on leaving the giant air-conditioned compound I'm in now without good reason. Luckily my Metro ride, while crowded, went rather smoothly. I covered what to do if you find yourself in a hot Metro car — without working air conditioning — earlier this week. Read it, and just know that you should use the intercom to try to alert the operator. Tweeting out the car number wouldn't hurt either, as many have done so far this summer. I've noticed the many tweets of FixWMATA collecting hot car numbers lately for the hot car database he keeps on his website.
Reactions have naturally extended onto Twitter. Here's some choice reactions to the morning commute heat and the general malaise of sweatiness that has descended onto Washington:
Ugh. I hate when you finally get to sit on #wmata and the seat is still warm from the last person.
Hello @Dear_Lui_Ming Welcome to Twitter. It is so hot in DC and I have to walk 2 blocks to my bus stop and will sweat a lot. Not happy!
In DC, the heat index will be 112 at 5pm, and tomorrow it will be 116 at 5pm. You shouldn't bike home @nmicon.
After almost having a heat stroke while walking around DC yesterday, I think that my family is just going to relax and go see a movie today
It's cool, though, #WMATA, I'm sure you'll have all those busted escalators sorted by the time the heat index goes from 104 up to 116.
After just looking at the weather it's going to be 105 degrees in DC with the heat index it's suppose to feel like 115
Our driver just stopped the bus to buy some bottles of water from a food cart. DC is that effing hot already this morning.