Jun 17, 2024

Where to stay cool when things heat up

For the past few weeks, local folks have been looking for relief from the scorching temperatures as the heat wave continues to blast us.

Ridgecrest temperatures surpassed the 110 mark as of July 14 which saw a high of 111. July 15 reached 115 and the hottest day so was July 16 with a high of 117.

For the past week, the evening hours have not brought much relief as temperatures continued to hover above 90 degrees at the stroke of midnight.

Evaporative cooling systems (swamp coolers) are the air conditioners of choice when you are on a tight budget due to our low humidity rate, however they will only reduce the ambient temperature by up to 20 degrees, 30 degrees if you are lucky have new pads and a cool water source to feed it. Swamp coolers also require routine cleaning during summer months for optimal results.

A common mistake in operating swamp coolers is failing to keep windows cracked throughout the house to draw the cooler air to all rooms. In addition, cracking your windows allows for less strain on the swamp cooler's motor.

During intense heat waves when temperatures exceed 100 degrees, try using fans and/or window coolers in addition to your swamp cooler to maximize results.

But for folks who can't get relief due to aging air conditioning units or have no cooling system at all, summer heat waves can prove deadly, especially for infants, young children, older individuals or for people who have chronic, medical conditions.

If you find yourself unable to escape the heat, don't despair: there are options.

Cooling stations are up and running in town, and offer respite from the burning desert sun.

The City of Ridgecrest has a designated cooling center when outdoor temperatures exceed 105, however the public is allowed to visit the Kerr McGee Center, located at 100 W. California Ave., and hang out during opening hours.

According to city staff, the cooling center has been a viable option for local folks looking to escape the heat as it has been regularly used especially during the past week.

In addition to the air conditioner, the center has fans in operation, and individuals can charge their cell phones while they are there. Unfortunately, there is no television on site to wile away the hours.

The cooling center is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is closed on Sundays and major holidays.

The California Welcome Center - Ridgecrest is also a designated cooling center.

"We have seen quite a few people come in and hang out to escape the heat," Executive Director Kari Crutcher said on Tuesday.

Located at 880 N. China Lake Blvd., the Welcome Center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

The public is invited to bring a book or cell phone to pass the time, however the Welcome Center is also rich in exhibits featuring the natural history of our deserts as well as virtual reality tours to enjoy.

Although not designated as cooling centers, several other options are available to the public such as the Ridgecrest Library, Maturango and China Lake Museums and the Senior Center. Or, why not go see the latest blockbusters at Ridgecrest Cinemas where the indoor temperatures are kept comfortably cool.

Even though Ridgecrest doesn't have a public pool available at this time, the Splash Pad is a great way to keep the kiddies entertained and cool at the same time. Also located at the Kerr McGee Center in Freedom Park, the Splash Pad will remain open through October. Normal hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

For more information, call Parks and Recreation at 760-499-5151 or the Welcome Center at 760-375-8202.

Stay cool, stay safe, and don't forget to check on your relatives and neighbors during heatwaves. And, please bring your pets indoors during peak hours, or make sure they have plenty of shade and a good source of fresh, clean water.

Sorry, there are no recent results for popular videos.