Even with the seasons changing, temperature related stress is still a very real risk for fall athletic teams in the Southwest. Most of the days in Southern California are still averaging around 85 degrees, and in places like Phoenix, the weather forecast predicts temperatures around 90 degrees through the end of October. These temperatures may be comfortable for most of us, but for the athlete they can cause heat stress in combination with higher heart rate and rising body temperature. On the opposite side of the country, some sports teams are already playing in the snow and face the risk of hypothermia.
We talk a lot about the merits of an evaporative cooler over a standard air conditioner in terms of cost of installation, maintenance and operation, but it seems that not very many people understand how an evaporative cooler works. Also known as swamp coolers, evaporative coolers provide effective cooling by capitalizing on the natural process of water evaporation combined with a simple air-moving system. Keeping the interior of our desert buildings cool is a process that modern technology has made simple. But in the early 20th century, inventions such as air conditioning did not yet exist. People often stayed cool by sleeping outside on screened in porches during the summer. They would hang soaking-wet bedsheets and blankets on the screens and use fans to pull the night air through the moist cloth to provide a cool breeze to lower the room’s temperature.