The National Weather Service defines a heat wave as “a period of abnormally hot weather generally lasting more than two days.” We will see that and then some as we move through the middle of next week.
From Monday through Thursday, we are expecting near record temperatures across the Tri-State. Our average temperature for the period of June 13 through 17 is between 82° and 83°, but most places will be at least 10-degrees warmer than that every day this week.
Starting Monday, we expect to see a stretch of at least four days in a row of 90-degrees or warmer. Last year, we only had one such stretch, which was August 26 to 29. In fact, since 2010, we have only had a stretch of at least 4 days above 90-degrees 25 times. While that may seem like a big number, that equates to 2.3 such stretches per year.
What makes this week even worse, is that we will pair the humidity along with it. The dew point, which measures the amount of moisture in the air, will be over 70-degrees every day this week. That is very high.
Like they always say, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” When the heat and humidity both start to get to very high levels, we must start discussing the “heat index,” which is also known as the apparent temperature. You may have also heard this called the “real feel.” The heat index is important, because this is the number that the body feels when the temperature and humidity are at a certain point.
When it gets hot outside, our bodies begin to sweat, which is the natural cooling process. The “cooling” portion of this, is when the sweat evaporates, called evaporative cooling. However, when the humidity climbs to certain levels, it makes it more difficult for the sweat to evaporate, which in turns inhibits the body from cooling. The higher the humidity, the lower the rate of evaporation. This can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, both of which can be dangerous.
This week, our heat index will likely be above 100-degrees multiple days in a row, and it could approach dangerous levels of 105-degrees or higher. It is likely that we will have multiple days of Heat Advisories or Excessive Heat Warnings.
Here in the Tri-State, the criteria for a Heat Advisory is a forecasted heat index of 100°F to 104°F. An Excessive Heat Warning is a forecasted heat index of 105°F or greater. The last time that we had an Excessive Heat Warning issued for Hamilton County and the Greater Cincinnati Metro was back in mid-July of 2019.
If you trying to beat the heat, make sure to wear light colors, take frequent breaks, and to drink plenty of water. To help save some money, WCPO’s Madeline Ottilie has sometips!