The calendar says early May, but it feels more like July.
It was another hot, humid day in South Mississippi. Sprinklers are busy keeping grass from turning brown, construction crews look forward to water breaks and air conditioners are running nearly non-stop.
It's something almost everyone is talking about: whatever happened to spring?
Summer doesn't officially arrive for another 46 days. But the temperatures already feel like summer.
"I tell you what. Time to take a break. This heat ain't no joke," said Yolanda Dunn as she worked out at a Gulfport jogging track.
She drinks plenty of water to avoid any problems. She began her walking routine about two months ago, when temperatures were mild.
"We haven't even had a good spring. So I know we're going to have a hot, hot summer this year. Because the heat just came too fast," Dunn said.
The sudden summer is giving sprinklers a workout. Heat tolerant flowers and plants are the most popular choices for gardeners right now. Summer selections can hold up to the weather quite well, with the proper attention.
Rick Bradley manages a Gulfport nursery.
"Make sure you're watering them. A lot of people don't realize they're not getting any water. I mean we haven't had rain for what seems like a month now. Especially stuff in pots and things. They need water daily," Bradley said.
The hum of the power plant on Cowan Road is keeping many of us comfortable through this early heat wave. Mississippi Power doesn't usually hit peak power usage until mid to late summer. But with most air conditioners running, this past week did see more demand than usual.
"There is a demand of maybe about 20 percent more than what we've seen in the same time frame last year. Now that's not necessarily out of the ordinary because you're going to see cycles like that. But the demand has been up," Mississippi Power spokesman Kurt Brautigam said.
Yolanda Dunn is hoping the weather forecast might bring some heat relief.
"Yeah, it's been hot. I hope we get a good rain to kind of cool things off."