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FOURTH OF JULY | Sweltering Heat

Fourth of July: Dangerous heat, thunderstorms for millions

Dr. Mario Picazo
Meteorologist, PhD

Wednesday, July 4, 2018, 12:30 - The heat is definitely on across many areas of the northeast US during the early stages of July. Close to 100 million people will be exposed to days of +95oF from the Mid-Atlantic states northward into New England and west as far as Chicago or Saint Louis.

What makes this heat wave so unbearable, is that is persistent in time. It has not been the most extreme heat episode in the last few years but, it is expected to stretch 6 to 8 days in some areas. This type of heat stress, is one which can make our bodies work hard to keep cool, so it is important to get hydrated, wear light clothing and stay away from the intense heat hours.

(SEE ALSO: This small village just set an all-time heat record...Ouch!!)

Some major cities already experienced record breaking heat over the weekend and now more is on the way. On Sunday, Burlington, Vermont tied the all-time record for heat set back on July 1st 1931 with a high of 96oF. But the Heat Index values, the combination of heat and humidity, were around 100oF across many portions of the state.


In Albany, New York  temperatures had not reached 100oF since 1953, and high humidity values also catapulted real feel temperatures into the 100oF mark in cities like Chicago or New York, although no records were broken.

For residents across many areas of the northeast US this heat wave will bring back memories of a similar one that occurred in 2016, although it was not quite as long as this one. In many of the major urban areas of the northeast U.S., nighttime temperatures are also expected to remain high. It will be common to see values in the upper 70s to low 80s mainly as a result of the urban heat island effect. The intense heat has also been affecting areas of southeast Canada in Ontario coinciding with the Canada Day holiday weekend

CLICK PLAY TO WATCH BELOW: Precipitation Forecast


Despite a slight cool down along the northeast coast early in the week, the intense heat is expected to bounce back and even intensify more beyond the 4th of July holiday. Daytime temperatures in the 90s are expected across much of the country east of the Rockies. Even night time lows are expected to remain in the high 70s to low 80s in many areas.


New York state will be expecting a hot muggy 4th of July with showers possible across the southern section of the state. New York Citywill see some isolated thunderstorms mainly during the afternoon hours with a high of 82oF and a real feel temperature of 102oF. By Friday highs could actually climb to around 90oF.

New York City 7 day extended forecast


Texas  will experience a hot humid Independence Day with thunderstorms and occasional strong showers mainly across the eastern third of the state. The low pressure center than has been developing during the last few hours along the coast of Louisiana will be responsible for the unstable weather.

Houston extended forecast

Houston  will see mostly cloudy skies will rain off and on, heavy at times. Daytime highs will be contained thanks to the cloud cover with a high of 85oF which will feel like 95oF with the humidity factor.  Dallas  residents will see partly cloudy skies with a high 95oF and a real feel temperature of 100oF.


In Florida  expect afternoon thunderstorms to help cool down the heat and humidity. Showers will affect the western Panhandle in the morning, and extend across much of northern and southern counties of the state by the afternoon and evening hours. Miami is expected to reach a high of 88oF with a real feel temperature of 97oF. Thunderstorms will be strong at times during the second half of the day.


Out west, California  will continue to enjoy contained heat along the southern coast but very high temperatures especially in the interior valleys and desert areas of the south. Stable weather conditions are expected across most of the state during 4th of July. A high of 77oF is forecast for Los Angeles while San Francisco will be see a cool high of 63oF.

Los Angeles extended forecast


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