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Depending on your age, the summer heat may not feel so sweltering
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Tyler Grabau beats this week’s hot weather with a jump into Lake Lanier during a break in the Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club summer camp Wednesday at Clarks Bridge Park. - photo by Tom Reed

If he didn’t have air conditioning, 7-year-old Noah Deal would go swimming every day.

The other kids sweating in the June heat at the Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club’s day camp agreed.

“I’d probably live in the pool,” said Serena Brown, a 12-year-old camper visiting from Melbourne, Fla.

“That’s like the only option unless you live in an ice box,” 11-year-old Sabrina Norris added. “That’s the only place to keep cool.”

The closest 9-year-old Katie Norris has ever come to living without the magical chill of a modern air conditioner was when she sat in a parked car, briefly waiting for the driver to return.

“The first second she slammed the door, we were just sweating,” Katie said. “It was really hot.”

And all of the campers agreed it feels warmer than usual.

Mike Leary, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said the area has been in the midst of a high-pressure ridge for the past few days, trapping the hot air and increasing temperatures.

“It keeps the air from moving out,” Leary said.

Though he said these haven’t been record highs, temperatures will remain in the low 90s for the rest of the week.

For some of the campers, the onset of 90-degree weather means less play time outside.

“You really can’t go outside in the summer,” Serena said. “Maybe for a couple of hours.”

But for 93-year-old Hugh Dorsey of Gainesville, sitting outside in the scorching sun is worth it just to get a breath of fresh air.

“I sit outside every day,” Dorsey said.

He said he grew up on a farm and got used to sweating it out in the summer heat.

The weather didn’t bother him one bit as he worked and played outdoors.

His granddaughter, Suzanne Gallo, joined him for a chat outside. She said she didn’t get air conditioning until she was 11, but somehow she survived the heat.

“We would go swimming a lot, run through the sprinklers. The old fans in the window used to keep it just as cool,” she said. “We weren’t scared to sweat, either.”

Robert Young also ventured outside Wednesday to take in the sun. He sat on his front porch and enjoyed the hot day.

“I’m tired of sitting in the house,” he said. “I’d rather sit outside.”

The 73-year-old Gainesville resident also grew up without air conditioning, and he had to get creative to keep cool in the summer.

“You just did the best you could to stay cool,” he said. “You just sat with door open and the windows open. You sat in the shade.”

And he swam — just like the young campers suggested.

“Back then, they were more athletic,” Katie said, imagining life without air conditioning and itching to get back out in the cool water.

“Since somebody invented TV and stuff, all (some kids) do is just watch TV all day.”

Stone Daniel, a 13-year-old from Gainesville also attending the canoe and kayak camp, said he thought older people might be more able to withstand the temperatures having grown up without indoor cooling.

“If you’re used to the heat, then it won’t feel that weird,” he said.

Noel Whitlock, a 12-year-old camper, had a similar idea about people living before air conditioning.

“They probably learned how to deal,” she said. “They know how to make fun out of a hot or cold day, and we’re still learning how to because we didn’t grow up like that. We were born with the AC.”

Through early August, Georgia’s summer will likely be warmer and drier than normal, said State Climatologist David Emory Stooksbury at the University of Georgia.

Temperatures and rainfall in late summer and early fall will depend on tropical weather systems, which are expected to be above normal this year, he said.

Up-to-date weather information is available at the website www.georgiaweather.net. Historic climate data is available at the website climate.engr.uga.edu.

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