U.S. heat wave expected to continue
As the current heat wave sweeps across the United States, the White House published a warning and tips on how to prepare for the extreme heat.
With average temperatures across many regions of the U.S. at historic highs, Amy Pope, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor to President Barack Obama, prepared -- and the White House published -- a brief informational guide on making proper preparations for the lasting heat wave.
Among other items, Pope focused on three key points of concern during any serious heat wave:
-- Pay particular attention to older adults, children, and those with chronic medical conditions. People in these groups are generally more susceptible to the effects of excessive heat.
-- Stay cool indoors with the help of air conditioning. This is perhaps the number one guard against heat-related illnesses.
-- Staying hydrated is key. All people in regions experiencing extreme hear should increase fluid intake and cut down on alcoholic beverage consumption.
This map says it all. Stay safe as it heats up: Drink water, stay out of the sun, and check on your neighbors. pic.twitter.com/c1qFTmq2IV
— President Obama (@POTUS) July 20, 2016
Long-lasting heat wave
The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) of the National Weather Service (NWS) has been warning of heat-related hazards since at least July 15. The CPC's most recent U.S. Hazards Outlook (dated July 21, 2016) is calling for excessive heat for many regions in the nation through the weekend.
The CPC is forecasting excessive heat for parts of south-central Plains, middle Mississippi Valley, lower Ohio Valley, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and lower Mississippi Valley through this coming Sunday and/or Monday. And starting early next week, predictions call for above-normal temperatures for parts of the western U.S.
— NWSCPC (@NWSCPC) July 15, 2016
Heat wave, heat dome, or both?
The growing and lasting heat wave from the Midwest across to the East Coast has experts talking about the phenomenon known as a heat dome to explain the extremely harsh conditions.
A heat dome can occur when a high-pressure system traps hot air underneath it. Essentially, a large ridge of high pressure hovers in the upper atmosphere, pushes warm air downward and increases temperatures. And the resulting atmospheric phenomenon typically forms unusually hot and humid conditions.
The U.S. is currently experiencing a heat dome and most of the nation is feeling the consequences. Or, as some have put it, we've been domed.