Are you ready for the heat this week? It’s ready for you…
…but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
I alluded to this earlier this week, but now the heat is here, and it’s not going anywhere for a few days. The National Weather Service has been busy, too; we’ve got a couple advisories posted for the upcoming days.
First, for Wednesday. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has issued a Code Orange air quality alert for ground level ozone today from 8am to midnight. A code orange alert means that ground level ozone concentrations will make the air unhealthy for those with sensitive respiratory systems; this includes those with respiratory or heart illness, in addition to young children and the elderly. As high pressure begins to really settle in across the region today, temperatures are going to climb into the mid 90s with mostly sunny skies. This hot and very humid airmass will make being outside for extended periods of time for anyone, regardless of any sort of restriction. If you’ve got to be outside today, make sure to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks.
The heat will continue on Thursday, to the point that the National Weather Service has issued an Extreme Heat Watch in effect from 11am Thursday morning to 8pm Saturday evening. Heat index values are expected to peak between 105 and 110 each of these days, and may exceed 110 on Friday. Specifically, high temps on Thursday will be near 100. It’s going to be stifling hot – there’s no way around it. Low temperatures Thursday night are only going to fall into the upper 70s. If you’ve got plans for Thursday’s Flying Squirrels game (vs. Harrisburg, 7:05pm), plan on game-time temperatures still in the mid 90s (hydrate, people!), and only dropping into the mid 80s by game’s end.
It’s worth noting that the Excessive Heat watch isn’t a product that we see often. It’s been almost five years since it was last issued, for August 1-3, 2006. The high temperatures for that three-day span were 97, 101, and 102.
URGENT – WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAKEFIELD VA
323 AM EDT WED JUL 20 2011
DORCHESTER-WICOMICO-SOMERSET-INLAND WORCESTER-NORTHAMPTON NC-
CHESTERFIELD-HENRICO-KING WILLIAM-KING AND QUEEN-ESSEX-
DINWIDDIE-PRINCE GEORGE-CHARLES CITY-NEW KENT-GLOUCESTER-
SOUTHAMPTON-ISLE OF WIGHT-NEWPORT NEWS/HAMPTON-NORFOLK/PORTSMOUTH-
SUFFOLK-CHESAPEAKE-VIRGINIA BEACH-ACCOMACK-NORTHAMPTON VA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…CAMBRIDGE…SALISBURY…CRISFIELD…
PRINCESS ANNE…SNOW HILL…MARGARETTSVILLE…AHOSKIE…
ASHLAND…SOUTH HILL…CREWE…COLONIAL HEIGHTS…RICHMOND…
323 AM EDT WED JUL 20 2011
…EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN WAKEFIELD HAS ISSUED AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING.
* AREAS AFFECTED: CENTRAL AND EASTERN VIRGINIA…NORTHEAST NORTH CAROLINA…AND THE LOWER EASTERN SHORE.
* HAZARDS: DANGEROUSLY HIGH HEAT INDICES.
* MAXIMUM FORECAST HEAT INDICES: 105 TO 110 DEGREES THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON…WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR HIGHER VALUES ABOVE 110 DEGREES…ESPECIALLY ON FRIDAY.
* TIMING: EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH BETWEEN 11 AM THURSDAY TO 8 PM SATURDAY.
* IMPACTS…THE COMBINED HEAT AND HUMIDITY WILL CREATE A HAZARD FOR THOSE EXPOSED TO IT FOR MORE THAN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.
AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH MEANS THAT A PROLONGED PERIOD OF HOT TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL COMBINE TO CREATE A DANGEROUS SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS…STAY IN AN AIR-CONDITIONED ROOM…STAY IN THE SHADE IF POSSIBLE…AND CHECK UP ON RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS.
The heat continues into the weekend, though it looks to peak on Friday. The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center’s heat index forecast map for Friday shows us exactly what we’re in for. That yellow splotch across eastern Virginia and the DC area corresponds to heat index values in excess of 115F. In short, the rest of this week is going to be a handful of scorchers.