Pat Shingleton: "Heat Waves and Other Waves..."
A strong ridge of high pressure will remain parked between Baton Rouge and Dallas, Texas, punching very hot, humid weather into all levels of the atmosphere. Daytime highs will hit 97 degrees Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The relative humidity range will peg the 50% margin reflecting a possible heat index of 108 degrees. The National Weather Service in Slidell has issued a Heat Advisory for Friday and possibly Saturday and Sunday. A heat wave is a period of abnormally and uncomfortably hot, humid weather. Depending upon the section of the country, the 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. From heat waves to offshore waves. A dangerous stretch of water that spans the Washington and Oregon coasts is known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific.” The Washington Post reported that a million cubic feet of water per second collides with 20 to 30 foot swells over a 4-mile stretch of shifting sand. Columbia River barge pilots navigate this stretch of rough water noting that ocean waves were becoming larger and more powerful in the ‘Graveyard.” Years ago, researchers at Oregon State University reported that buoy data verified the height of the biggest waves and have increased from 4 inches per year to 10 feet over the last 30 years. Changing storm tracks, high winds and intense winter storms are believed to be the reasons.