Heat Wave by the Numbers in Northeast, Midwest

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
July 19, 2013; 8:23 PM ET
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While the heat wave and virtual sauna over the Northeast and Midwest has broken few records, multiple days and nights of high humidity and light winds with the event are leaving an impression.

For many locations, Thursday was day five of the heat wave, which began last weekend. And in some areas there are a couple more days of sweltering to go.

"The duration of the heat index being 97 to over 100 degrees has diminished the population's ability to respond to the heat," Dr. Kevin Baumlin, associate professor and vice chair for Clinical, Operations, Quality and Finance in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Ichan School of Medicine, said. "We urge people to drink lots of fluids and go to air conditioning if possible."

Mostly older people over the age of 65 are being seen for heat-related illnesses in the emergency department at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, Baumlin said. Twelve patients were treated Tuesday and Wednesday.

Patients with heat illnesses are presenting symptoms of weakness, dizziness, dehydration and nausea, Baumlin said.

Miguel Torres, 77, rides his electric wheelchair near a fountain at Pier A Park while escaping his hot apartment, Wednesday, July 17, 2013, in Hoboken, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

"Several older people in our geriatric emergency department have shown signs of minor confusion," he said.

The heat wave is hitting around what is typically the hottest part of the summer, when the days are long, the sun is intense and the nights are short. (On Thursday, Alaska was the only state that did not reach 90 degrees).

With limited time to cool down at night, temperatures will get a jumpstart during the midday.

As anticipated by AccuWeather.com meteorologists, record high temperatures have been scarce, while the nights have been especially rough for those without air conditioning, especially in the major cities.

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During the overnight hours Thursday, temperatures did not drop below 80 degrees in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and in Milwaukee and Madison, Wis. In Traverse City, Mich., the overnight low Thursday was 82 degrees. For Washington, D.C., temperatures have failed to drop below 80 degrees for four nights in a row.

During the overnight hours Tuesday and Wednesday, warm-night records on the books for over 100 years were tied in New York City with lows of 79 and 80 respectively. During the overnight hours Tuesday, a warm-night record of 79 degrees was tied in Milwaukee. In the Southern city of Raleigh, N.C., the temperature only dipped to 75 degrees Tuesday night, breaking the old warm-night record of 73 degrees set in 1925. John F. Kennedy Airport, N.Y., reached 100 degrees on Thursday, breaking the old record for the date set last year.

During the day, the combination of the heat, high humidity, light winds and intense sunshine pushed AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures to well beyond 100 degrees and even past 110 in some locations.

The table below shows RealFeel, actual high and normal high temperatures for the heat wave Sunday, July 14, through 9:00 a.m. EDT Friday, July 19, 2013.

City, State
Peak RealFeel®
Peak Actual High
Normal High
Boston
102
99
82
Hartford, Conn.
108
96
84
Providence, R.I.
104
98
83
Albany, N.Y.
104
96
83
New York
114
98
84
Trenton, N.J.
116
96
86
Philadelphia
107
98
87
Pittsburgh
106
91
83
Detroit
113
94
84
Chicago
104
95
76
Cleveland
109
93
83
Indianapolis
105
93
85
Louisville, Ky.
110
95
89
Charleston, W.Va.
110
94
85
Nashville, Tenn.
107
97
89
Dover, Del.
115
95
87
Baltimore
109
97
88
Washington, D.C.
112
97
89
Richmond, Va.
113
96
90

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