El Ninio is causing unusually hot and prolonged humid weather on Maui. At first I thought it was just central Maui where I work and live.
No, said someone from Pukalani, it’s also hot upcountry. The air conditioning is on 24/7 in Kihei, said another. At the Sprecklesville sunset farewell party last Sunday, I took a poll. It was hot everywhere. Someone else volunteered a critical piece of information: air conditioning engineers were charging several hundred dollars per hour for their time, and people were willing to pay for it.
Yesterday, Kahului’s temperature hit a record high of 94 degrees Fahrenheit. What this means is that you sweat before you dry yourself completely from a cold shower. The water is warm, even when the cold tap is cranked to its max. You will need to take cold showers throughout the day and apply ice packs on your neck and shoulders. Going naked around the house doesn’t help. The air is still and thick with humidity.
Surfers tell me that the ocean is unusually warm. The water in the unheated public swimming pools is bodily warm. However, swimming slow laps still beats sitting at home sweating in my lawn chair. Kahului has three public swimming pools open seven days a week from 9 am to 4:30 pm, except on Sundays when it opens later or when there’s a staff shortage. Like the ocean, the pools are free to use. Usually I never have a problem getting my own lane at Sakamoto Swimming Pool, the largest of the three pools. But in sultry weather like this, I often have to share with snorkelers.
If you are one of the fortunate who has air conditioning at home or office, count yourself lucky. I’m sure electric bills will soar between now and December for the duration of the projected heat wave.
As a result of El Ninio’s hot and humid curse on Maui, I have had to change my lifestyle. I swim for an hour instead of 30 minutes in the public pools. I try to get up earlier to get to work where air conditioning is a reliable blessing. At home, I sit on my patio where the air flow is better than indoors. I drink plenty of ice cold home-made refreshments like iced suntea, chilled guava juice, and ice water.
I do spend a lot of time wishing the trade winds would return though.