AccuWeather RealFeel® temps to top 100 degrees for 160M at height of heat wave
A dangerous and extended heat wave with 90-degree heat is gripping the northeastern United States as if right on cue for the dog days of summer. Record-challenging heat will not only persist straight through the weekend in major cities up and down the Eastern Seaboard, but temperatures may also climb to levels that haven’t been felt for 10 years in some locations, AccuWeather meteorologists warn.
By Sunday, some 160 million Americans are expected to experience an AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature of 100 degrees or higher, the AccuWeather forecasting team cautioned.
Temperatures rose to yearly highs on Wednesday from New York City into Philadelphia, where heat advisories were issued. In the Big Apple, temperatures climbed to 95 degrees, beating out the previous mark by two degrees, set with a high of 93 on May 31. Philadelphia scorched even further, reaching 96 degrees, equalling the 96 high set on May 31 and June 17. On Thursday, Philadelphia set a new yearly high temperature, soaring to 97 degrees.
Heat advisories were expanded on Thursday and stretched from the eastern Carolinas to Massachusetts. Along I-95 from north of Boston through Wilmington, Delaware, the advisories run until Sunday.
High temperatures are expected to reach 90 degrees and higher in New York City and Philadelphia, as well as Boston, for several days through at least this weekend.
Temperatures will even approach the 100-degree mark by Sunday in major cities along the I-95 corridor, according to forecasters. Other factors will contribute to AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures in the triple digits for several of the days of the grueling stretch, and there won’t be much relief at night either.
The heat wave will be the most formidable of the summer so far for many big cities along the upper reaches of the Eastern Seaboard. The intensifying weather pattern will also deliver some of the highest daily temperatures and longest stretches of heat that many places have endured in years.
In New York City, the lengthy heat wave could be the longest in nearly 10 years. The last time New York City strung together seven consecutive days with highs of 90 or greater was July 14-20, 2013. The Big Apple is predicted to do just that as AccuWeather is forecasting high temperatures there to be 90 or higher every day through Monday, July 25. Tuesday's high hit 90 in the city, planting the hub firmly into the scorching heat right before Wednesday's temperatures came in at five degrees higher. On Thursday, temperatures surged to 92 at midday before thunderstorms erupted and briefly cooled the city down.
AccuWeather meteorologists are predicting a high of 98 degrees in New York City Sunday, which will be the peak of the heat wave. Should the high throttle up to the century mark it would be the first time for a triple-digit reading in the city since July 18, 2012.
Farther south, Philadelphia could tally 14 consecutive days where the high will reach 90 degrees or higher through the end of this month and perhaps into the start of August. The last time the City of Brotherly Love endured eight days in a row with highs of 90 or higher was Aug. 10-17, 2016, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Joe Lundberg.
"Philadelphia could hit 100 degrees on Sunday, and the last time that happened was almost exactly 10 years earlier on July 18, 2012," AccuWeather Director of Forecasting Operations Dan DePodwin added. Sunday is also likely to set a new record high for the date in the city, beating out the old record of 98 set on July 24, 2011.
Washington, D.C., is in the midst of its first official heat wave of the summer as the temperature hit 90 degrees or higher for three days in a row as of Wednesday, after the daily high of 91. The heat wave will persist for much of the rest of July.
If Reagan National Airport, the District of Columbia's official site for weather observations, reaches 100 degrees on Saturday or Sunday, it would be the first triple-digit reading there since Aug. 15, 2016. The nation’s capital is expected to climb to 97 degrees on both days of the weekend.
And farther north along the I-95 corridor, Boston, as of midweek, had yet to endure an official heat wave, which meteorologists consider to be three days in a row of 90-degree temperatures for the Northeastern states, this year. On Thursday, Beantown hit 94 and was in the midst of a full-blown heat wave. After hitting 93 on Tuesday, Boston was hit by the heat once again Wednesday, reaching 92.
For several hours during the afternoon and early evening this weekend, RealFeel Temperatures can top 110 in urban locations of the major I-95 cities. To make matters worse, given the vast amounts of pavement, concrete and brick surfaces, temperatures may fail to drop below 80 F at night in those same urban locations during the heat wave.
Farther south, the heat wave smashed daily highs in Texas Wednesday, adding new daily records for cities such as Abilene and Austin. Records were broken again on Thursday in Austin and tied in San Antonio.
Those without access to air conditioning or cool water will suffer the most and may be at the greatest risk for heat-related illness during extended periods of heat. Experts were urging people to reduce extreme physical activity and manual labor or to be active outdoors when AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures are not so extreme, such as early in the morning or during the evening hours.
In addition to concerns for dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke, especially in vulnerable groups such as children and people experiencing homelessness, extreme heat and prolonged hot weather can lead to travel disruptions. Rails and roads can buckle amid extremely high temperatures.
Earlier this summer, Amtrak reminded its passengers of the potential for delays and disruptions to rail service as temperatures climb. The temperature of roads and rails can be a few dozen degrees higher than the ambient air temperature, which is officially measured in the shade at approximately 6 feet off the ground.
The hot weather conditions through this weekend will create ideal conditions for area beaches. Ocean water temperatures range from near 70 along the Massachusetts coast to the mid-80s near North Carolina. However, pockets of chilly water can develop on certain days due to local upwelling. For those seeking heat relief at New York City beaches, recent shark sightings have forced officials to close beaches to swimmers.
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