LITTLE ROCK, Ark – This past weekend Arkansas experienced a huge increase in temperatures. Saturday was seasonable with highs in the upper 80s, while Sunday was the first day of our heat wave with an air temperature of 96° and a heat index of 111°. More data is coming in and it shows this heat wave has no sign of stopping.
All this week, afternoon temperatures will be in the upper 90s. Weather this hot is around 10° warmer than normal and near record breaking. The only day I think we have a shot of breaking a record is Thursday.
Temperatures are one thing, but it’s the heat index that really makes this weather uncomfortable and dangerous. The heat index is what the temperature actully feels like. When it’s really humid your body can’t cool down as well. That’s why the National weather service has issued exsessive heat warnings and heat advisories Sunday and Monday. It is likely there will heat advisories each afternoon this week.
Heat waves in Arkansas are very common, but it’s less common for them to last more than a week. In order for this to happen there needs to be some sort of a blocking weather pattern. Well, we do have blocking pattern, and omega block has set up across the United States. This means for the next few weeks it will continue to be hot and dry in Arkansas, and cool and rainy on the coasts.
There will be some very minor relief from the dangerous heat this weekend. Temperatures will be in the low 90s. That relief will only last over the weekend, because next week temperatures will climb back near 100°.
Temperatures and heat indices this high are nothing new for Arkansans. Since it is our first major heat of the summer, it is important to know how to stay safe and know the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Stay safe out there! – Meteorologist Alex Libby
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