So….you thought it was a bad summer across the Southeast? While it is true that we have had our share of heat advisories and humidity this summer, we are far from alone. The highest heat inAlabamaoccurred in late June/early July, but now it plagues the middle of the nation.

How do people in Chicago and northern Wisconsin handle this when a mere 5 months ago were facing sub-zero wind chills?

 The culprit for this is a summertime phenomenon is an expansive area of high pressure, called a sub-tropical high. A subtropical high is a semi-permanent weather fixture. This means it can stay in one place for several weeks at a time. When the polar jet stream retreats to the north, theGulf of Mexicocan extend its influence further north than simply the gulf coast states.

The area of high pressure acts to suppress rising motion, which is needed to develop storms. This as a result keeps all the hot and humid air, exactly that…hot and humid.

This is how states as far north as the Canadian boarder end up with Heat Index values well into the triple digits.

So just how bad is it this week across the country? Here are some stats: 17 States, primarily in theMidwestare under Excessive Heat Warnings. 18 States have portions under Heat Advisories.  Over 40 states will reach the 90’s today and close to twenty could reach triple digit actual temperatures. This is the tenth day of the current heat wave.

For a “refreshing” change, the only part of Alabama under any form of heat warning is the extreme north. Our highs will not hit triple digits, and heat index values should also remain below 100 today.

So while you feel like you may be melting, just think about those who are used to shoveling for 5 months out of the year, and how they may be handling the heat….

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