Back in early July, a strong heat wave impacted the Northeast United States, creating heat indices above 100 degrees Fahrenheit for many areas. Places like Albany, New York, saw above-average temperatures for this time of year. For Albany, NY, average temperatures for the first week of July are in the low 80’s. Although there were above-average temperatures, it is not uncommon for New Yorkers as it occurred the first week of July. However, it was unusual due to the fact that it lasted for a total of six days. The last time maximum temperatures were greater than or equal to 90 degrees Fahrenheit for six days straight in Albany, NY, was in July of 2013, and before that, August of 2002. The heat wave did max out at six days, as average temperatures arrived when needed.
This began on Friday, June 29th, as a high-pressure system moved into the Northeast United States, creating a strong ridge over much of the Eastern seaboard. This set up the heat wave for many areas in New York State, especially in the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys. In this, I will focus on the Capital Region Area (Albany, NY).
The Capital Region was under a heat advisory from the morning of Saturday June 30th to the evening of Thursday July 5th. Then on Sunday July 1st and Monday July 2nd, an excessive heat warning was issued for the Capital Region. The National Weather Service defines a heat advisory as heat indices exceeding 105 degrees Fahrenheit but can be lowered if it is a multi-day heat wave or if it’s early in the season. Being that this was a multi-day heat wave, the National Weather Service in Albany, NY, lowered the criteria for a heat advisory to heat indices above 95 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, the National Weather Service also lowered the criteria for an excessive heat warning of heat indices from 110 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
The peak of the heat wave was on July 1st and July 2nd, as there was an excessive heat warning issued on Sunday and Monday for much of the Hudson and Mohawk River Valleys. Over the heat wave period, temperatures in Albany, NY reached as high as 97 degrees Fahrenheit with heat indices near 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Although this heat wave brought some very hot temperatures to the area, only two records were broken, and one record was tied for Albany, NY over the five-day period:
Luckily a cold front pushed south from Canada and was able to break through the ridge. This cold front brought some rain to the area that ended this strong heat wave and finally brought relief to the region.
Credit: National Weather Service
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