THE HEAT IS ON
TEMPERATURES CONTINUE TO ROAST PARTS OF U.S.
August 7, 2001 As the remnants of Tropical Storm Barry made the final stop along its soggy trail in Alabama on Tuesday, other parts of the nation continued to wilt under blistering temperatures and dangerously high heat indices. NOAA's National Weather Service issued heat advisories from the Dakotas to New York City and South Carolina, warning residents to take precaution against the heat. (Click NOAA image to see latest heat index outlook.)
"It's summer in America, and that means it's going to get hot," said Donald Wernly, a meteorologist at National Weather Service headquarters just outside of Washington, D.C. "Heat-related deaths are the leading cause of weather fatalities in the country, and everyone must take the heat warnings seriously."
Forecasters expect the heat to continue through Friday, when a cold front from Canada will push away some of the heat in the upper Midwest, New England and Mid-Atlantic states. However, states in the lower Plainssuch as Oklahomaand Texas further south will continue to bake.
In Minnesota, "It's every bit as bad as we'd want it," said Craig Edwards, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service Twin Cities Forecast Office in Chanhassen. For five consecutive days, the state has been smothered by a suffocating heat wave. "It's been hard to catch your breath outside," he added. "But to their credit," Edwards said, "Minnesotans have heeded the heat warnings, and slowed down their outdoor activity."
In New York City, where the stubborn heat mass has slowly crept, the heat index made the temperatures feel like 105 degrees on Tuesday. Michael Wyllie, meteorologist-in-charge of the forecast office in Upton, said "this is the longest heat spell here in a couple of years." The Upton Forecast Office is tapped into New York City's special emergency operations, and is providing critical weather support to city officials. "It's getting dangerous out there," Wyllie said, adding the area's only relief may come through spotty thunderstorms later in the week.
Science Behind The Heat
"These are the dog days of August, so we can expect additional heat spells," Wernly said.
NOAA Forecasters will update the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season outlook on Thursday.
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