Northeast U.S. bakes in heatwave

It's not the magnitude of the heat, but rather the longevity

July 16, 2013

A large dome of high pressure in the upper atmosphere has built over the Northeast, Ohio Valley and Great Lakes this week. Blistering heat will scorch the area this week, as some of the hottest weather of the summer envelops the heavily populated region.

Although records are not expected to be broken, the National Weather Service has put heat advisories and heat warnings in place in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, as temperatures soar well into the 90s.

Heat indices are expected to be well past 100 degrees, the National Weather Service said. Heat indices represent how hot the weather feels, based on the actual temperature and humidity.

In the Northeast, “the I-95 region will be a virtual sauna bath, “reports AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

It won’t be just the Northeast sweating through the week. Parts of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley will also see temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s. This includes Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati.

Another worry is a spike in the population of mosquitoes, particularly the kind that carry West Nile Virus. The season’s first West-Nile bearing culex mosquitoes in Connecticut were captured in Norwalk last week, according to the Hartford Courant. “unfortunately, the weather conditions we’re having, with high heat, high humidity and occasional rain, replenish these site,” state entomologist Ted Andreadis told the Courant. “I think the virus will start to build.”

It has already been a hotter July than normal. The average temperature this month has been five to six degrees above normal in Boston and elsewhere in New England, and three to four degrees above normal in New York and Philadelphia.

According to AccuWeather meteorologist Paul Pastelok, “the extreme part of the heat is not forecast to ease unil over the coming weekend into next week, when thunderstorms may return to many areas.”

In short, what makes this particular heat wave dangerous is not necessarily the magnitude of the heat, but rather its longevity.

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