Good Thursday afternoon to you! The intense summer ridge is building into the deep south this afternoon, and temperatures will continue to increase as heights continue to increase. Most spots will reach 100 this afternoon, but the heat index value is much higher. Most spots are showing heat index values between 102 and 109 across the area. As moisture levels come up, the heat index will become more of a factor through the pre-4th weekend.
The map above is the 500mb chart off the GFS computer model. Much like a elevation map, the numbers above show at what level 500mb occurs. The 594 ring over Alabama means that 500mb occurs 5,940 meters above the ground. Since hot air expands, the column of air above it will expand upwards. 5,880 meters is rather high, but 5,940 meters is very high. Due to the dry ground, temperatures will continue to warm easily each day. Since the Sun’s energy goes into heating the ground rather than evaporating the moisture out of th ground, it doesn’t take much for temperatures to reach hot levels.
Temperatures will reach the 99 to 103 degree mark this afternoon across much of the area. We are under a heat advisory, which means this is a danger to your health. Temperatures will reach the 103 to 107 degree range on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Skies will remain mostly sunny through Saturday.
The ridge will start to break down a bit on Sunday through next Thursday, but temperatures will remain very hot. You’ll notice a little extra cloud cover as heights come down some. Also, afternoon storms will become possible on Sunday and last through the middle of next week. The risk of rain is low on Sunday at only 10%, but chances will increase to 20% for Monday through Thursday. While that is still low, a cooling afternoon or evening storm is possible. Most spots will remain dry, with highs reaching the low 100s through Thursday.
The 4th of July happens on Wednesday this year. Look for highs to reach the 100 degree mark, with the risk of an afternoon storm or two. Skies will remain partly cloudy on Wednesday.
Here’s some heat safety information from the National Weather Service in Birmingham…
The Alabama Department of Public Health advises the public to be alert to the warning signals of heat illnesses.
People should drink plenty of water, stay in an air-conditioned room, and keep out of the sun. The public should also check on the elderly and ensure pets have plenty of water to drink and a shady place to cool off.
Heat related illnesses occur when the body`s temperature control system is overloaded. The Alabama Department of Public Health cautions everyone to be alert to the warnings that may signal help is needed.
Heat stroke, sometimes called sunstroke, is the most serious heat related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. The body`s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106 degrees F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.
Warning signs of heat stroke vary, but include the following:
– an extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees F)
– red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
– rapid, strong pulse
– throbbing headache
Get the person to a shady area, cool rapidly in a tub of cool water, place in a cool shower, spray with cool water from a garden hose, splash with cool water, or, if the humidity is low, place in a cool, wet sheet and fan vigorously. Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the person`s body temperature drops to 101 to 102 degrees F. If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call a hospital emergency room for further instructions.
Dr. Donald Williamson, State Health Officer, said, “Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency. A person with heat stroke is likely to be unconscious or unresponsive, so he or she cannot safely consume any liquids. Under no circumstances should you give any alcohol to a person with heat stroke or any heat illness.”
Follow these preventive measures to avoid heat illnesses:
– drink more fluids, and avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
– when temperatures are extreme, stay indoors, ideally in an air-conditioned place.
– take a cool shower or bath, and reduce or eliminate strenuous activities during the hottest time of the day.
– protect yourself from the sun with a wide brimmed hat, light colored and loose fitting clothing, and use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.
– never leave pets or people in a parked vehicle.
Individuals with heart problems, poor circulation, diabetes, a previous stroke or obesity are at greater risk of becoming sick in hot weather. The risk of heat related illness may increase among people using medications for high blood pressure, nervousness or depression.
Send us your weather pictures! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, look us up on facebook and twitter. Like us on facebook by searching facebook.com/wvuaweather or WVUA-TV Weather. You can find us on twitter by searching email@example.com or WVUA-TV Weather. Great way to get weather updates! Plus, facebook is a great way to send us weather pictures. Simply tag us!
Also, join us live on WVUA-TV weekdays at 4, 5, 6 and 10 pm and weekends at 10pm for the very latest on your news, weather and sports.
WVUA Chief Meteorologist