Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Second July Heat Wave Reins Over Most of Eastern U.S.
2012 has been the warmest first 6 months on record, and July surely isn't disappointing with yet another heat wave reining from the central Plains to Mid-Atlantic beaches this week. Temperatures climbing well into the 90s and pockets of triple-digits will threaten a few record highs through mid-week.
In an all too familiar pattern since late June, a broad bubble of high pressure has once again parked itself from the central Plains all the way to the Mid-Atlantic and Carolina shores this week. It isn't the only contributing factor to the recent early epic-July and current heat wave roasting many east of the Rocky Front Range.
The expanding drought is also a player. The parched-ground acting in concert with sinking air underneath the huge dome of high pressure will produce more widespread 90s and triple-digits from Kansas and Nebraska to southern New England today.
Omaha, Neb., St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Toledo, Ohio, and even the Interstate 95 corridor between Richmond, Va., and Boston will flirt with the century mark. It will be a repeat performance for many Missouri Valley, central Plains and Interstate 95 communities on Wednesday, where the crux of the heat will be found.
Heat Advisories stretch from eastern Iowa and eastern Missouri to western Pennsylvania, as well as along the Mason-Dixon Line to the central New Jersey beaches. Excessive Heat Warnings and Watches are in place for southeastern Michigan, including Detroit, West Virginia, and the Philadelphia metro area. Other cities in heat-related advisories include Wheeling, Chicago, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Pittsburgh.
A few East Coast records will be in jeopardy today and Wednesday, including Philadelphia and Boston's 98 degree-, and Hartford, Conn.'s, 97 degree record set last in 1999.
Add in oppressive humidity, and the heat index, or a measurement of what it feels like to the body, will exceed 105 degrees. Little relief is expected at night when the mercury only dips back into the upper 70s to 80 degrees in urban centers with steamy lower and middle 70s common in rural spots.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Make sure to frequently check on at-risk groups, including pets, the homeless, young children and the elderly. If you must be outdoor for any length of time, take these preventative maintenance tips when dealing with the extreme heat.
The good news is that this heat spell won't be nearly as long-lasting as the early July one responsible for 2,278 daily heat records the first week of the month. However, the heat will be broken at a price, with severe thunderstorms likely to rumble across the Midwest and New England today. The same weather-maker will enter the Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday, but temperatures will be knocked back to seasonable norms with highs ranging from the 70s and 80s in the Midwest to the upper 80s to lower 90s across the Mid-Atlantic late this week.