Boston to Chicago: More Than 100 Million Feel Stifling Heat

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
July 18, 2013; 9:28 PM
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Play video AccuWeather.com's Valerie Smock reports on the heat wave.

Plain and simple, this week may feel the worst of any week for this summer in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest. The region will be a virtual sauna bath.

High daytime and nighttime temperatures, high humidity, intense sunshine and lack of wind will make the area seem like the middle of the tropics.

The pattern will pose health risks ranging from poor air quality to a dangerous buildup of heat in urban areas to risk of heat stroke for those physically very active.

Officials are asking people to conserve electricity, when possible, to lower the chance of brown-outs and power failures. Approximately 130 million people were experiencing the heat wave in the Midwest and Northeast this week.

Actual high temperatures in many of the major cities will reach well into the 90s through at least Friday.

According to Paul Pastelok, head of the AccuWeather.com Long Range Team, "The extreme part of the heat is not forecast to ease until over the coming weekend, when thunderstorms may return to many areas."

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When Will the Heat Wave End?
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Statistics on the Heat Wave

Although actual temperatures will stop short of record levels during this week's heat wave, when combined with the humidity and other factors, AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures will surge well past 100 degrees during the late morning and afternoon hours.

The table below shows high temperatures forecast through Saturday for selected cities:

City, State
Fri.
Sat.
Boston, Mass.
99
93
Hartford, Conn.
98
92
Providence, R.I.
97
90
Albany, N.Y.
96
86
New York, N.Y.
98
94
Trenton, N.J.
95
94
Philadelphia, Pa.
98
94
Pittsburgh, Pa.
91
84
Detroit, Mich.
94
86
Chicago, Ill.
93
83
Cleveland, Ohio
92
84
Indianapolis, Ind.
92
86
Louisville, Ky.
92
90
Charleston, W.Va.
90
88
Nashville, Tenn.
92
92
Dover, Del.
95
94
Baltimore, Md.
99
94
Washington, D.C.
98
94
Richmond, Va.
97
94

RealFeel temperatures can run 20 degrees higher than actual temperatures during several hours each day of this heat wave.

A lack of a breeze in the humid conditions at night will make it very rough in urban areas without air conditioning or a fan.

The light winds, high humidity and heat will lead to a build-up of pollutants. Folks with respiratory problems are advised to remain in an air-conditioned environment and avoid strenuous activity.

This is the type of heat that can kill, especially the elderly and those physically overdoing it at any age.

Be sure to look after your pets. Do not leave kids or pets unattended in the car for any length of time.

With the return of thunderstorms toward the weekend on the coast, there will be a risk of severe weather and perhaps a return of the "atmosphere with an attitude" and tropical rainforest downpours.

"It appears the pattern of frequent showers and thunderstorms will return to the East Coast and Appalachians late in July and much of August," Pastelok said.

With temperatures and humidity as high as they are, widely separated thunderstorms can drench a few communities over the Appalachians during the week. Most of these storms would occur between 3:00 and 9:00 p.m.

Beat the heat by heading to the pool, beach or an air conditioning location for a few hours to give your body a break. (Surf temperatures range from the upper 60s to near 80 degrees.)

Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Wear light-weight, light-colored clothing.

If you must work outdoors, take frequent breaks and try to do the most physical part of the job during the morning or evening, when the RealFeel temperatures are not as extreme.

Remember to turn off lights when not in use. Turn off the air conditioner when not at home. If using air conditioning, keep windows and doors closed, to not only keep the heat out, but also to keep the humidity lower within your home. By doing so you may be able to keep the thermostat higher and still be comfortable at the same time.

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