National heat wave to spare the NW

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

This week, some of the hottest temperatures of the season will hit across the nation with one notable exception: the Northwest.

“The big high pressure ridge bringing the hot weather is centered over more of the central U.S.,” said meteorologist Randy Mann. “When we’re on the ‘back’ side, we often get the cooler and wetter weather.”

Very high humidity and soaring temperatures are expected throughout the week, with cities like Des Moines, Kansas City, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City and Chicago all expected to see temperatures exceeding 100 degrees F. When you take the humidity into account, the heat index may rise to over 120 degrees F.

When extreme heat is combined with elevated humidity, it can prove especially dangerous. Elevated humidity slows the act of sweating, which is the body’s cooling mechanism.

In 1995, at least 465 people died in Chicago from extreme heat over a five-day period, according to CNN. Hundreds more were hospitalized.

This week, the high humidity mixed with above-average temperatures combined to create a ridge of high pressure known as a “heat dome” over the central U.S. High pressure acts as a lid on the atmosphere. When hot air tries to escape, the lid causes it to sink and the air is forced downward, warming even more.

Another factor that has contributed to this dangerous heat wave is known as “corn sweat.” Corn releases water from the leaves, and when wind sweeps through, moisture is released into the atmosphere causing humidity levels to soar in surrounding areas.

In contrast to the rest of the nation, North Idaho should expect temperatures this week to hover in the 80s, with a few days possibly running into the 90s. But, Mann pointed out, we should feel some residual effects of the heat wave in the latter part of July.

“The high is expected to expand and give us some warm weather for the rest of July,” he said.

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.