ROANOKE, Va. – As if it hasn't been hot enough recently, we may very well get hotter late in the week into the weekend. After the remnants of Barry pass through Wednesday, a strong area of high pressure (seen above) sits over the eastern U.S. This blocks the jet stream to the north, allowing heat to build and intensify.
HOW HOT WE TALKING HERE?
What this means for us is that temperatures will rise a little bit more each afternoon. We'll be in the upper 80s and low 90s Friday through Sunday in the NRV, Highlands and Mountain Empire and middle 90s in the Roanoke Valley, southern Shenandoah, Lynchburg and Southside.
Then, you factor in the humidity. The air at times will likely feel like it's 100-105° from the Roanoke Valley to the southern Shenandoah and from Lynchburg to Southside. The most intense heat likely comes Saturday afternoon.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
If the heat index is forecast to reach 105°, then the National Weather Service will issue a Heat Advisory for parts of the area. It is far too soon for them to do that, seeing as it's only Tuesday. The worst of the heat comes Friday through this weekend.
We haven't seen an Excessive Heat Warning in seven years, when temperatures topped out above the century mark.
A heat index, or feels like temperature, of 100° isn't terribly rare around here. (That's especially the case in Southside.)
However, it can become dangerous if you're not taking proper care of yourself and those around you.
WHAT TO DO
While we aren't breaking records, triple-digit feels like temperatures are nothing to mess around with.
Obviously, you want to drink plenty of water and seek shade when outside for long periods of time. You'll want to wear lightweight, light-colored clothing, so as to not absorb too much heat. Make sure your pets and the elderly are taken care of as well.
Some of you have reached out with concerns about brownouts.
Those can happen when it's especially hot, in an effort to preserve energy and prevent a more long-term blackout. Some might suggest room-darkening shades to reduce the impact the heat has on your home. Take care of errands and/or outdoor chores early in the day.
WILL WE EVER COOL DOWN?!
There are some indications of a buckle in the jet stream later in the month that would lead to a break in this heat wave. (Heat is normal, but we've also seen more 90° heat through mid-July in Roanoke than any year since 1936.)
While it's unlikely that we see a drop toward fall-like temperatures and humidity, we're at least looking at the chance for more seasonable temperatures later in the month.