Pat Shingleton: "A Heat Wave?"
The seasonal ridge of high pressure, also known as the Bermuda High, remains parked over the southeast portion of the United States. Clockwise circulation advances moisture inland, and this process is often referred to as a sea-breeze front. Lake Pontchartrain also assists in sliding moisture to the west. With daytime highs close to 95 degrees this week and the relative humidity range rising to almost 50%, the heat index could place the feel-like temperature to 104 degrees. A heat wave is a period of abnormally and uncomfortably hot, humid weather. Depending upon the section of the country, a heat wave should last at least one day, but conventionally it lasts from several days to several weeks. On July 21, 1991, during the height of a broiling heat wave, 100 people were overcome with heat exhaustion at the Dayton Ohio Air Show. Forty of these heat-related conditions were serious enough to require the victims to be hospitalized. Heat stroke is also called sunstroke and is accompanied by a body temperature of 106 degrees or above and includes hot dry skin, a rapid and strong pulse and possible unconsciousness.