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White House Warns to Prepare for Extreme Heat

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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.

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.

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.

Matt Mills Matt Mills has been involved in various aspects of online media, both on the editorial side and on the technology side, for more than 16 years. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and is currently involved in multiple projects focused on innovation journalism.