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Early sizzle fries Oahu


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POSTED: Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Honolulu has burned up records for eight days with sizzling temperatures.

“;As far as the records go, it's just a single digit that's sending it to the record category consecutively,”; said Vic Dejesus of the National Weather Service. “;It's still exceeding 90s or above most days.”;

From June 8 through yesterday, the record for high temperature was broken on seven days, and tied on one. Temperatures consistently reached 91 to 92 degrees last week and will continue to be in the low 90s this week, according to the National Weather Service's Web site.

Temperatures for Honolulu are recorded at Honolulu Airport, and technicians have found that the thermometer shows a warm bias—elevated readings perhaps due to airplane engines or reflected heat from concrete.

Dejesus noted that the record-breaking temperatures could be inaccurate, but the weather has been hot nonetheless.

“;I've been seeing Honolulu exceed the warmer areas by quite a bit, but it could be because of the warm bias,”; said Dejesus.

He said tradewinds have been light to moderate, but are expected to increase at the end of this week, so Honolulu will feel slightly cooler.

Until then, residents will just have to sweat it out.

Annette Nunes and Macky Duque tried to avoid the heat under the shade of a coconut tree during their lunch break at Restaurant Row.

“;With the heat I've been staying home with the AC on, which I normally don't put on 'cause of the electric bill,”; said Duque, who has stopped going on her usual walks because of the weather. “;Now every time I go out, I make sure get an AC: the mall, the store, shopping for food ... “;

The sun didn't deter Erika Buder-Nakasone from going to Ala Moana Beach with her two sons yesterday.

“;We were in the sun and staying cool in the water,”; said Buder-Nakasone, who picked up shave ice after leaving the beach. “;It must've been in the 90s today, but it isn't too bad with the tradewinds.”;

Darren Pai, spokesman for Hawaiian Electric Co., said electricity use hasn't increased despite the recent heat.

“;Usage really starts to go up in the fall, with the combination of heat and humidity, but this current hot weather is a good reminder that we could always find alternate means to keeping cool. We don't always have to reach for the air conditioner as our first option.”;

Pai suggests turning on fans, which use less power.

The hot weather has been good for several businesses.

AirReps Hawaii, a division of Heide & Cook Ltd., has seen an increase in its sales and rentals of portable air-conditioning units.

Melissa Sekigawa, AirReps sales and marketing coordinator, said the company met its sales goal last month and expects to be busier as the weather gets hotter. “;It's not even the heart of summer yet, and we're expecting our customer flow to increase,”; she said. “;It's been good.”;

Waiola Store has also seen an increase in shave ice customers because of the hot weather. Owner Jerry Lee said that it's been busy since Memorial Day weekend, with an average of several hundred customers a day.

“;The weather did help us a lot since we've had the longest winter. It's like we've skipped spring,”; said Lee. “;This year it's like 'Boom!' Busy all of a sudden. The weather is a big factor.”;