If you’re a regular reader of our blogs, you’ll know that both Armando and I have been talking about the heat in the American Southwest often — and for a good reason, too.
Looking back at the maximum temperature data for about a month, we find the heat to last amazingly long. Daytime highs hit triple digits while nighttime lows struggled/couldn’t drop below 90 degrees.
Unfortunately for those who are tired of the heat in the area, that’s a pattern that doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon. In fact, the heat will spread eastward as this stubborn ridge begins to expand early next week.
While the actual air temperature numbers look more impressive in the Southwest (due to the fact that drier air allows for more heating), we’ll need to consider humidity east of the Rockies.
As the dew point in this area rises above the 70s/near 80s, the heat index easily rises to triple digits. And so temperatures that are “just” close to 100 quickly become extremely dangerous.
This is easily seen with the Heat Index parameter for the ECMWF sample. This parameter combines temperature and humidity to produce a “feel good” value. Simply put: temperatures will remain extremely hot in the Southwest US, but dangerous heat will also spread to the east next week.
While much of the eastern US will experience some short-term relief from the heat this weekend after a cold front passes, it won’t last as temperatures begin to rise again early in the week. Now is a good time to start thinking ahead and make sure you’re prepared to weather the heat.
Some heat safety tips to consider:
- Reduce or rearrange outdoor activities to avoid exposure to the sun and extreme heat.
- Wear light, loose, light-colored clothing.
- Keep water. Drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty.
- Stay as cool as you can.
- Use air conditioning if available.
- Close the sunshade during the day to reduce the indoor temperature.
- Take a cool shower or bath if needed.
- Check up on your friends, family and neighbors – especially if they are older or sick. Make sure they stay calm and offer help if needed.
These and other tips can be found through National Weather Service.
We’ll keep you updated on how the heat is going as we head into next week!
About the author
Meteorologist – ’22 Mississippi State Writer for Weather.us and Weathermodels.com. Focus on weather communication. BoyMom x1, CatMom x5. Twitter: @MegGulledgeWX