Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hotter Than a Firecracker

Much of the nation will be experiencing hot, humid summer weather on this Fourth of July.  Maximum temperatures will exceed 90°F in most locations east of the Rockies, and many locations in the nation’s midsection will see temperatures in excess of 100°F. 

Forecast maximum temperature for July 4, 2012

At 11:00 a.m. EDT the Midwest and mid-Atlantic region from Delaware to South Carolina were already at 85°F and higher, and the dewpoint ranged from 65° to greater than 70°F. 

Temperature (L) and dewpoint (R) at 11:00 EDT July 4, 2012
The heat index (apparent temperature) represents what it really feels like when humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature. The heat index today could reach close to 110°F in many locations – anything 105°F or higher is dangerous.  Excessive heat warnings and heat advisories have been issued for much of the Midwest, parts of the mid-Atlantic, and in western Alabama.

Forecast heat index for 5:00 p.m. EDT July 4, 2012
Heat advisories (orange) and excessive heat warnings (pink) are in effect for most of the central U.S.

On a day when picnics, parades, and fireworks are tradition, the danger posed by the heat and humidity is very real. Believe it or not, heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year.

If you are going to be outside during hot weather know how to stay safe, and learn the warning signs of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.  Information on heat waves and how to cope with them can be found at the following links:

Have a safe and happy 4th of July, everyone!

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