Most of the country has already suffered (or enjoyed) a hot summer so far. There is technically still two more months of “summer.” So it’s important to understand terms that your local meteorologist could be using.
If you think it’s been hot this summer, you’re probably right. The majority of the states have experienced a heat wave, but do you know what that means?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) defines a heat wave as a period of abnormally and uncomfortably hot and unusually humid weather. Typically, a heat wave lasts two or more days. The qualifications change for each state – based on their average temperatures in the summer. For Connecticut, the qualifications for a heat wave are three consecutive days above 90 degrees. Compared to Connecticut’s average temperatures, 90 degrees is about 5-10 degrees hotter than what people experience. This makes for uncomfortable temperatures and high humidity levels. But these standards, or qualifications, aren’t the same as they are in Arizona. Since temperatures are on average around 90 degrees for the summer months in Arizona, the qualifications from CT would not stand. This means that the qualifications will be different. In Arizona, a heat wave is issued when temperatures reach triple digits.
It’s also important that when the National Weather Service issues these alerts to take precautions. Stay hydrated, and if you have respiratory issues to make sure you get somewhere where there is air conditioning.
(Credit: NOAA, NWS)
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@2019 Weather Forecaster Allison Finch