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The First Awful Heat Wave of the Summer Is Here

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Dust off your sprinklers and get those popsicles in the freezer. The first disgusting summer heat wave is here for folks in the central and eastern U.S., and it’s only going to get worse.

An upper-level ridge of high pressure, also known as a “heat dome,” will park itself over the northeast this weekend and spread across the U.S. by mid next week, according to the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang. With it, the heat many of us are already feeling will build.


Temperatures across much of the central and eastern U.S. are topping out in the mid 90s today, but in parts of the Midwest, high humidity is yielding dangerous heat indices in the 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit range, prompting the National Weather Service to issue numerous excessive heat warnings. The heat and humidity will crank over the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast this weekend and early next week, resulting in oppressive mugginess and heat indices that top out at as high as 105—110 degrees Fahrenheit. The hellish weather isn’t expected to break before the end of the week.

Just check out this map, which makes your cold-loving moonlighting weather reporter over here want to dissolve into the ocean:


June heat waves are nothing new. Although July and August are typically the hottest months of the year, heat waves have been known to hit pretty much every corner of the lower 48 in June. Recent stand-outs include a 2012 heat wave that caused temperatures in Denver to reach at least 100 five days in a row, and the Northwest heat wave of 2015, in which Idaho had the dubious honor of notching temperatures as high as 114 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unfortunately, these sorts of blast furnace temperatures are expected to get a boost from you-know-what. As the climate warms, the number of “danger days” featuring a heat index above about 105 degrees is projected to spike for many US cities, according to Climate Central. That same report finds many places have already seen an uptick in the number of extreme heat days since 1970.

The danger is nothing to scoff at. The Center for Disease Control estimates over 600 people are killed by extreme heat annually in the U.S., with young children and the elderly among the most vulnerable. The best way to protect yourself, this weekend and in the future? Stay inside somewhere there’s air conditioning. Of course, whenever you do head outside—whether it’s for one of the hundreds of marches taking place over the weekend or that Fourth of July barbecue next week—be sure to bring plenty of fluids (and not just beer).

You won’t have to tell me twice.