Abnormally hot weather is just around the corner, as a long-awaited wave of abnormally high heat is expected to build across much of the United States.
Widespread extreme temperatures coupled with stifling humidity is expected, particularly in the majority of the central and eastern states. The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center is already calling for a moderate risk of excessive heat in many areas by next week.
July Shaping Up to Be Unusually Hot
We’ve already seen a relatively hot June in many regions. Now, July is shaping up to be worse.
“We are expecting July to be unusually hot, with the most anomalous warmth focused in the north-central states and Great Lakes region,” Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist at the Weather Co., told the Washington Post.
According to Crawford, the weather pattern may support “potentially historic heat,” similar to the sweltering weather from July 2011 and July 2012. Those ranked as some of the warmest on record so far in the U.S.
Early next week could see highs that are 10 to 15 degrees above seasonal norms in many regions.
This abnormal weather pattern could also delay the usual early July arrival of the summer monsoon, which provides much–needed moisture across the otherwise dry desert southwest.
By prolonging ongoing drought conditions, it will increase the frequency and intensity of wildfires.
It could exacerbate ongoing wildfire concerns in places like Arizona, where thousands of people have already been evacuated amid wildfires.
The Dangers of Excessive Heat
I can’t overstate the serious nature of excessive heat.
Big storm systems, including hurricanes and tornadoes usually garner the most attention in the world of weather. However, many don’t know that it is heat that is the top killer when it comes to weather.
In fact, heat will kill nearly twice as many Americans every year than tornadoes. Heat also kills almost three times more Americans than hurricanes.
Heat advisories are already in effect for over 22 million Americans in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen warns, “Highs will push well into the 90s and above 100s in some areas.”
Once you factor in humidity, these areas will be facing dangerous heat levels.
Air surging in from the Gulf of Mexico will easily make Dallas, Texas reach a heat index of 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
The National Weather Service advises that heatstroke is likely within a few minutes of physical activity outdoors. Heatstroke is also a concern from just prolonged exposure in the elements.