In today’s Weather Gang Lab video, I took a couple questions that readers/viewers sent in about the heat and predicted thunderstorms. But several didn’t make it into the show, so I thought I’d answer them in this blog post.

Today’s Weather Gang Lab video

Question: Any tips for staying relatively cool at the Mumford & Sons show at Merriweather Post tonight? Cold (overpriced) beer is an approved method, or no?

Response: I hate to be a downer, but alcohol and heat don’t mix. Say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Avoid drinks containing alcohol because they will actually cause you to lose more fluid.” The best way to stay cool is hydrate with straight up H20.

Question: Thanks for ditching the tie on a day like today. May I suggest a Hawaiian shirt for the next heat wave Live Q&A.

Response: You bet. I like the Hawaiian shirt idea. Need to check with management :)

Question: Not sure if this is the right venue for this question, but here goes... I am currently sitting in a windowless office because our office a/c is on the fritz. It’s actually hotter inside than out! Do I have the right to leave work in a heat advisory? I’m an hourly worker, so I can’t just go “sick”. thanks!

Response: I’m not aware of any regulations that address this but you might ask your supervisor if you can work remotely. The best way to avoid heat-related illness is to be in an air-conditioned environment.

Question: If the day’s heat index is over 100 is it wrong to stay inside all day and have ice cream for lunch? ;-)

Response: I wouldn’t blame you. Ice cream sounds good to me right now. The 1 p.m. heat index was 103, so you’re entitled...

Question: Is there a better than 50% chance of measurable rain before the next dry system moves in early next week? NEED RAIN

Response: Yes! We stand a good chance of some heavy downpours tonight, tomorrow PM and Saturday PM. And we do need the rain. See our full forecast for more details.

Question/comment: Hi Jason, thanks for hosting this chat. I do not know your view on climate change. I will not call it global warming because I think the scientific community did itself and humanity a real injustice by popularizing such a casual term. Climate change is first and foremost about more-extreme weather, including a general warming trend but not a straight-line warming. (i.e. cold winters are still possible) In any case, I have noticed that Joe Bastardi of Accuweather seems to have a very strong bias against climate-change science. What would you say is the consensus among meteorologists about climate change? Does Accuweather undermine its own credibility by having such a vocal opponent? I for one don’t bother looking at Accuweather any more. I spent an academic year reviewing the IPCC’s most recent report and it is quite clear that the weight of climate science is behind climate change. (I have an aunt who went to school in the ‘50s who insists that the Earth is getting closer to the sun. “Why don’t they talk about that any more?” Maybe ‘cause it’s wrong, like so many other things we thought 50-60 yrs ago?) The capacity of humans to ignore mountains of evidence that conflicts with what’s comfortable for our consumerist tendencies is quite extraordinary.

Response: I generally agree with main conclusions of the IPCC and assessment reports from the U.S. government and National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on climate change. That is, the scientific evidence indicates the Earth is warming and that human activities have most likely contributed to a large fraction of the warming.

Yesterday, I wrote a blog about the connections between extreme heat and global warming. Joe Bastardi does have a different point of view on the issue. He’s no longer with AccuWeather but with the start-up company WeatherBell. There are a number of meteorologists more or less in Bastardi’s camp. However, of climate scientists publishing articles in the peer reviewed literature, most subscribe to the conclusions of the IPCC, NAS and U.S. goverment.

Reader recommendation: As an ultramarathon runner who has run in the 128 degree heat of Death Valley in July, I would like to offer your readers a few tips on how to stay cool and yet still spend time outdoors. Please feel free to add your thoughts! 1. Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing. I prefer long sleeves honestly with some UV protection because it keeps the sun off you, your skin healthy and long sleeves pull any sweat off your arms 2. If you are going to exercise, PLEASE do not go 100%, full out. 3. A “desert running” trick is to get a bandanna, fold it in half, put a few ice cubes in it, roll it and tie it around your neck. Or just soak it in cold water, but the ice lasts longer and you won’t get as wet as quick. 4. Drink Drink Drink and watch the color of your urine (this is the number 1 indicator of whether you are dehydrated or not) 5. If you are outside, doing a moderate level of activity (walking) and not sweating, that is NOT a good sign. Sit in the shade and start taking in liquids/cooling yourself off. Trust me, I have suffered through heat exhaustion/stroke and it is NOT a good experience! I am sure there are a lot more I am missing!

Response: Great advice!