Army Mythology Item #8320: The Scorching Air Temperature in Iraq
A topic of perennial discussion with natives of the South is the hot weather. Whenever anyone discovers that we’re from Minnesota, the first thing out of the person’s mouth is, “Oh, how do you like the heat down here? Har har har!” This is of course very hilarious considering our large penguin population and the ever-popular 4th of July celebration where fireworks shoot out of giant cannons made of ice over the Mississipi River.
The second thing out of the person’s mouth will inevitably be a comparison to the temperature in Iraq. “If you think this is hot, just wait till we get to Iraq! Har har har!” This is also hilarious because the subtext is, “hey there Chilly McChilly, my superior Southern biology will enable me to withstand the ferocious heat while your thin Northern skin and inefficient heat-exchange system will be overwhelmed! Muahahaha!”
The last thing the person will say is the actual air temperature in Iraq. This number has been steadily increasing since we deployed, and I don’t expect it to stop. At Fort Benning, the number was 125 degrees Fahrenheit. By the time we finished training at Fort Hood, one captain briefed us on how important drinking water was in the scorching 145 degree heat of Iraq. After that, SGT P and I were virtually in tears of laughter, discussing how eventually the temperature would be 212 degrees and your water would boil, right in your canteens!
Yesterday a Specialist from the brigade HQ building next to my site walked up and started talking to us. She followed the sequence of conversation above (being from Louisiana, of course), then said, “well, the low temperature over there is about 106, and it gets up to about 160.” I restrained my laughter and darted back into the CP tent before I almost fell over in hysterics.
For the love of all that is holy, let’s clear this up right now. The generally accepted world high temperature of all time is 136 degrees F. 160 degree air temperature would mean that in the sun it would probably top 200 degrees – sorry, but if you were wearing body armor and all of our other shit in that heat, you’d just be a piece of armored beef jerky.
Here are the average temperatures, by month, for Baghdad.