Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dangerous heat threatens Virginia Tuesday and Wednesday

A broad upper ridge of high pressure is advancing east, affecting states from the Southern Plains to the Mid-Atlantic today and tomorrow with dangerous heat and humidity. Heat Index Values in this swath of the country will range 100-115 degrees on average Tuesday:

Here is a closer view of Virginia with our Heat Advisory, which goes into effect at 11AM Tuesday, when the Heat Index should rise above 100 degrees (what it feels like to your body outdoors in the shade...if you're standing in the sun, add another 15 degrees!):

You can see how we determine what the Heat Index is by clicking here to view the Heat Index Chart. Today's actual high temperature in Richmond should reach 100 degrees, which would be our first 100-degree-day of 2011. We've come close to the century mark several times this year at Richmond International Airport. Here are the hottest days so far of 2011:

If it seems "late" in the Summer for us to be having our official first triple-digit-day, it's still not close to the latest first 100-degree-day on record for Richmond:

And even though the Heat Index may feel like 110 degrees at times this afternoon in Richmond, the air temperature should hover around 100 degrees, well shy of our hottest days on record, both of which occurred in 1918.

On dangerously hot and humid days like today and tomorrow, please remember to bring your pets indoors, check on your neighbors (especially the elderly), and closely monitor your kids for signs of heat-related illnesses. Here are a few basic heat safety tips:

Click here for many more ways to protect yourself during the next two days.
As you can see by the chart below, heat was the number one weather-related killer last year in the U.S., so please be safe today and check on others!

With the heat and humidity in central Virginia this afternoon ahead of an approaching upper disturbance, we could see pop-up showers and thunderstorms develop between 3-9PM. A few of those storms could become severe with damaging wind gusts and large hail:

But our primary threat today remains the heat, not the storms.
Stay with CBS6, we'll keep you ahead of the storm!
--Meteorologist Carrie Rose