Heat Wave Duration: What the Forecast Reveals



The ongoing heatwave in the eastern United States is set to continue into the next week, with further intensification in some areas. In the hottest spots, temperatures will rise to the upper 90s and near 100 on multiple days, with heat indexes climbing to near or past 105 to 110. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that the heatwave may recede for a while but make a comeback by July, with above-normal temperatures for much of the country.

A Long-lasting Heat Wave Pummels Eastern US

The ongoing heat wave across the eastern United States persists into this weekend and early next week, alarming officials due to its long duration and increasing intensity in some areas. The National Weather Service points to early arrival, persistence over multiple days, and limited cloud cover as factors aggravating the overall heat stress.

Heat Intensifies in Midwest, Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast

The Ohio Valley and Midwest will experience the peak intensity of the heat this Saturday, with a slight decrease on Sunday. The Mid-Atlantic and the Interstate 95 corridor from D.C. to New York City will endure intense heat all weekend before cooler weather arrives. The most intense heat will shift southward and westward to the Southeast, mid-South, and Plains early next week. Areas with the highest temperatures will reach near 100 on multiple days, while heat indexes could exceed 105 to 110.

Where is the Heat Most Intense This Weekend?

A large swath of the nation from Kansas to the Mid-Atlantic coastline and from south Michigan to Tennessee faces a Level 3 or 4 HeatRisk, the highest levels of the Weather Service’s forecast rating the danger to human health. Indianapolis; Cincinnati; Columbus, Ohio; and Pittsburgh are among the hottest spots in the Midwest and Ohio Valley this Saturday, with forecast highs in the mid- to upper 90s and heat indexes near 100.

Where Will the Heat Be Worst Early Next Week?

Oklahoma, Arkansas, Northern Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and portions of the Southeast will bear the brunt of the heat early next week. Cities including Oklahoma City; Little Rock; Tulsa; Jackson, Miss.; Nashville; Baton Rouge; and Atlanta are all forecast to reach a Level 4 HeatRisk with heat indexes a few degrees higher than the mid- to upper 90s temperatures. Excessive heat should also hit St. Louis, with highs in the upper 90s to low 100s and a heat index nearing or exceeding 105.

The Outlook for Later Next Week and Beyond

As more seasonable temperatures return to much of the eastern United States by the second half of next week, the heat builds across parts of the West. NOAA reports that hot spots are likely to appear around the Four Corners region and the Eastern Seaboard into New England. The Gulf Coast is also expected to experience hotter-than-average conditions due to very warm waters around the Gulf of Mexico and Florida.

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