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Extended heat wave in the Midwest and Northeast

Extended heat wave in the Midwest and Northeast
Extended heat wave in the Midwest and Northeast

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  • A heat dome is developing over the eastern US, leading to a prolonged heat wave
  • Daily record highs and warm lows are likely.
  • Above-average maximums combined with humidity and low nighttime lighting will lead to dangerous heat conditions.

A prolonged, dangerous heat wave is likely to break records in the Midwest and Northeast this week. According to NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center, the expected lifetime of predicted heat has not been observed in some areas for decades.

Below we explain what you can expect.

Highs will set records

Highs rising into the mid-90s will spread northeast from the southern Great Lakes and Ohio Valley during the first half of this week. This heat will last through the end of the week in many of these same areas.

Widespread daily record highs will be reached starting Monday and likely lasting through Saturday. A few cities that could set new records at times through Saturday include Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston and Hartford.

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Forecast heights compared to the average

The dew points will also increase, making it feel sticky and moist. When humidity is added to the warmer than average temperatures, the wind chill will be even higher. In some areas, this means the heat index will rise into the upper 90s or lower 100s.

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There won’t be much relief overnight

Don’t expect a break from the heat overnight, either. Low temperatures will only dip into the 70s in most locations. A few spots can stick around 80 degrees at night.

Daily record low temperatures are likely to be widespread.

A few locations that could experience record heat overnight are Grand Rapids, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Syracuse and Albany.

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This heat will be dangerous

The hot daytime temperatures for several days, combined with very warm low temperatures and humid conditions, increase the risk of heat illness.

On the map below, orange areas indicate where people sensitive to heat could be affected on Thursday. In the red areas, anyone without effective cooling and/or adequate hydration can be affected. Purple areas are the most concerning and show where excessive heat could have greater consequences.

You can view the heat risk maps for other days of this week via this link.

Heat illness is a serious problem. Take the necessary precautions to be prepared for the coming heat.

What’s behind the coming heat and how long will it last?

The jet stream has pushed north and a strong ridge of high pressure, or heat dome, is developing over the east.

This arrangement allows above-average temperatures to spread north and east. In addition, a southerly current causes an increase in humidity.

This general pattern may persist for a while. But some relief could come this weekend in parts of the Great Lakes, New England and New York State. Areas from the mid-Atlantic to the Ohio Valley will remain hot during that time.

Linda Lam is chief meteorologist at Weather.com. Growing up in Massachusetts, she developed a fascination with winter storms and hurricanes, which led her to pursue a career in meteorology.