The dangerous, widespread, and stifling heat wave poses a threat to millions across large portions of the U.S. as the temperatures likely to creep toward the century mark, even touching higher heat indexes by this weekend.
Already excessive heat has generated from the heat wave in the central United States, and warnings from the National Weather Service is likely to cover up the national weather map by Wednesday. From the public health point of view, the sultry dew points coupled with scorching air temperatures, will make this event even more deadly.
Cities that are most likely to face at least three days with temperatures between 95 degrees and 100 degrees include Chicago, St. Louis, Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Nashville, and Kansas City, Mo. Dew points, the amount of moisture present in the air, will accompany it, at more than 70 degrees.
The conditions are ideal for setting records of hot overnight low-temperature, with the bright chance of breaking some earlier records for such temperatures.
The GFS model, for instance, sanguine on hot weather, is projecting a low temperature of 86 degrees in Washington Sunday morning while the all-time warmest low temperature for Washington is 84 degrees.
The warming rate of daytime highs when compared with the faster warming of overnight lows, are found to remain in line with model projections and observations on weather reshaping by global warming. In cities, the effects of “urban heat island” also help to keep overnight temperatures higher than the surrounding areas. It becomes harder for the human body to cool down and rest when overnight lows fail to drop below a particular threshold and thereby increases the threat of health.
The forecast of sauna-like conditions is the result of the high-pressure zone or a sprawling and intense heat dome that will be swelling over the two-third eastern part of the nation beginning Wednesday. Temperatures will rise nearly 10 to 20 degrees above normal and considering it is the hottest time of the year, the heat so caused will challenge previous records in some areas.
Entire Missouri as well as parts of Kansas, Illinois, and Iowa are already under the effect of excessive-heat watches, and from Wednesday through Saturday heat indexes are forecast to range between 100 degrees to 110 degrees.
“The prolonged duration of the heat and humidity will potentially become dangerous to those most vulnerable,” said the National Weather Service. In the United States, more people die every year due to heat than any other weather hazard. It gets even worse for young children, older person, and people without air conditioning, who are vulnerable to heat-related ailments.
Chicago will experience its hottest temperatures Friday, whereas, in the areas further east, the hottest days may hit on Saturday and Sunday.
The Weather Service in Philadelphia says, it has “high confidence” in 105 degrees and above heat index values Friday through Sunday and has issued an excessive-heat watch due to the “rare prolonged” stretch of heat. “The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a DANGEROUS SITUATION in which heat illnesses are possible,” it cautioned.
The meteorologist Ryan Maue told The Post that about 86 percent of the population of the Lower 48 states, or 290 million, will face temperatures at or above 90 degrees in the next seven days.
The Climate Impact
In mid-July, a heatwave is usual across the United States. Out of the most solid findings of climate change research, one is that, with a significant rise in the average global surface temperatures, the odds of extreme heat events also increase, making them more severe and longer-lasting. The most recent heat wave that gripped Western Europe in late June, and broke several national all-time high-temperature records proves that.
As per the peer-reviewed study published in Environmental Research Communications on Tuesday, the frequency of this extraordinarily rare heat event of present times in the United States is projected to dramatically increase even if emissions of greenhouse gas are kept below a “business as usual” scenario.
The study, funded partly by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a science research and advocacy group, found that depending on the volume of emissions of greenhouse gas, the number of days with heat indexes between100 to 105 degrees annually are projected to double and triple, respectively by mid-century in comparison to a 1971-2000 average.
The bottom line is if you don’t like this ensuing heat wave, you probably won’t like the coming future.