Here is a fascinating new list. Every state, ranked by how miserable it's summers are. Here are the 12 worst states to be in during the summer.
Remember those terrifying and depressing old photos of the Dust Bowl from your history textbook in elementary school where it's all gray and bleak and everyone just looks like they can't decide whether to be sad or dehydrated or both? It’s nothing like that anymore -- OR SO THE OKLAHOMA BOARD OF TOURISM WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE.
It's kinda like Oklahoma, but with fewer onions on the burgers and a roughly equal number of tornado warnings.
10. South Carolina
Little-known fact: During the summer months, the South Carolina town of Mount Pleasant renames itself “Mount How Is It Possible That My Body Is Both Slippery and Sticky Right Now Don’t Touch Me I’m Gross It’s Even Too Hot to Enjoy a Plate of Mustard-Forward Barbecue Pass The Cheerwine As It Is My Only Refuge From This Unyielding Hazy Inferno.”
For real. They have to change the signs and everything.
Also, Myrtle Beach has one of America’s most impressive collections of dads in golf shorts.
9. New Mexico
It’s tough to escape the desert heat when even the water supply has state-mandated thresholds of green chile. Somewhere south of Santa Fe there's a gila monster pricing flights to Seattle at a public library before realizing he has no source of income and deciding to peruse some NSFW lizard websites instead, really creeping everyone out in the process.
Southern Florida’s tropical climate during the summer is like walking around inside a steam room, except the steam room is filled with people throwing alligators. Northern Florida is more temperate, which allows people to get more alarmingly sunburned at the Flora-Bama while tossing mullets. But since Dave Barry spent an entire chapter in his newest book defending Florida specifically against our arbitrary state rankings, we feel compelled to point out that the Gulf Stream keeps rather nice weather in most of Florida year-round, and Florida’s beaches have the warmest surface temp in the continental US. Hi Dave!
It is so hard to generalize about Texas weather. Texas is the size of two Germanys! Do people in Bavaria have the same weather as people in, um, the other region of Germany that isn’t Bavaria? I think not. And yet, it is tempting to generalize here, mostly because that is the entire point of this arbitrary exercise. So here we go: Texas summers are hot as hell. To further tease out that nuanced point, let me offer you an anecdote from my youth in Texas:
During the summer, the only time you were ever comfortable was for that brief period of time after you get out of a pool of water while your body is confused and wet. So large swaths of my youth were spent constantly getting in and out of pools and lakes and ponds and large puddles, in an attempt to stay somewhat temperate. Other parts of my youth were spent at the Galleria in Dallas, looking at the ice rink and wishing I could dig part of it up and eat it. I led a complicated childhood, is my point.
Here’s a typical summer Friday afternoon in Atlanta: I-85 is a parking lot in both directions, with people from around the state heading inbound to party and Atlantans heading outbound to be… anywhere else. But no matter where they end up, both parties will spend their evenings fending off mosquitoes and swamp ass on all fronts. In the present, meanwhile, they’re just fending off thoughts about the highway collapsing.
Come for the same soul-draining swelter you’ll find radiating through the rest of SEC country, stay for the utter lack of oceanfront, judicious use of air conditioning, and ubiquity of old timers for whom “goddamn” is a mandatory honorific for every mention of the word “sun.”
It’s slightly cooler if you head farther north -- just not cool enough.
The People of Alabama asked the Lord that He grant them their worldly right to play Football in All Seasons and the Lord granted this wish with mild winters and hot, sunny summers. But then the People went back to the Lord and asked if maybe He could tamp down the Humidity a tad because of Perspiration Issues and also if he knew anything about the Mosquito Problem, but then the Lord mentioned something about telling Moses to make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole and The People kind of just left it Alone and so now here We are.
At what point does the “dry heat” argument lose its luster? Could it be when the temperature goes up to 120 DEGREES and summer days merely consist of retired people in air-conditioned cars driving slowly around mall parking lots looking for spots that are marginally close to the shade? Not there yet? How about when it's too hot for planes to take off? Maybe three is too generous?
According to the many meteorologist conferences I frequent, there is a rule that if John Grisham has written a novel that has since been turned into a movie that takes place in your state, that state has to have a pretty shitty summer. This is actually one of the core tenets of meteorological study. And as I recall with my nearly photographic memory of John Grisham novels that have been turned into films, The Pelican Brief features Julia Roberts as Darby Shaw, a Tulane Law student in NEW ORLEANS. And, as if that isn’t enough, The Client features a senator from LOUISIANA going missing. Don’t think I’m providing enough statistical data to back up my claims? Well how about this, taken from a city-data.com message board about unpleasant summers: “Arkansas and Louisiana feel like ovens 24 hours a day, even at nighttime during the summer.” Sorry friends, but the Grisham Rule + message board statements from “AJF131” = facts.
It was tempting to go another direction with the No. 1 choice here, as Mississippi often finishes in the least-desirable position on these every state lists, whether the matter at hand is education, health of the general population, or lack of homicidal fire ants. After all, Mississippi is hardly the only Gulf Coast state sporting that unyielding combo of heat and humidity that we’ve had to find 37 different ways to describe in this article thus far. You know, the kind of weather not even an oil drum’s worth of sweet tea can combat (38)! Top five most miserable summer? Certainly, but is it REALLY necessary to slot Mississippi all the way at the bottom? Surely not.
Then I spoke to a colleague of mine who is a leading authority on all things Southern and asked him to weigh in on where he’d least like to be during summer. His response was immediate.
“Mississippi. It’s so hot. It’s hot, and there’s nothing to do.”
Well, there's always mud pie and air conditioning?