It’s interesting to note that there are varying definitions of “a heat wave” because of course it depends on where you live and people vary on what they think hot is, some people even like hot weather while some like it cold.
Some hot weather is normal and to be expected in the spring but mainly summer. BUT there is expected normal heat, and then there is heat above the normal and that is unseasonably hot.
This time of year in ATLANTA a normal (average) or seasonably hot day would be 82-86.
Our last 90 degree day was back on October 6th 2018. The average first 90 day in Atlanta is May 31st.
The past two days saw low 90s in parts of the Metro area and that arrived two weeks EARLIER THAN NORMAL and a full 10 degrees above average!
And it’s not even officially summer yet! And this would be hotter than normal even if it was summer.
Typically Atlanta only gets ONE 90 day in May, but this time we’re looking at ten.
We’ve never had 100 in May.
The “Dog days of summer” don’t start until July 3rd but this year mother nature doesn’t care.
Heat Wave Definitions:
By any definition It’s certainly begun. 90 degree high temperatures are expected to last 2-3 weeks with below-normal rainfall.
Drought will spread across the state but at least area lakes are full so no threat to water supplies or for water restrictions for now.
And the humidity will not be unusually high so at least the heat index will just be on a par with the actual air temperature for the foreseeable future rather than well above it as often happens.
Remember the air temperature is measured in the shade, in direct sunlight it can feel up to 15 degrees hotter.
Dew Point is a better measure than “relative humidity” for determining discomfort levels. Discomfort from humidity even in the shade starts at 60 and gets worse the higher it goes from there.
Our dew points are expected to be modestly humid 60-65 on average next 10 days producing a Heat Index of 94-98 the next 7 days.
Dress appropriately and don’t over exert and take care of the pets with water and shade and preferably inside with A/C. Don’t get too much sun, sunburn makes it more difficult for the body to cool itself.
Air quality will go down to unhealthy levels during a heat wave, lower pollution levels early morning and early evening are best for outdoor exercise for less ozone and less heat.
PLEASE NOTE: Even on a cloudy day the rays that produce heat STILL penetrate a car and raise temperature inside 40 degrees or more to unhealthy levels even it its overcast even if outside temperature is “only” in the low or mid 80s! Cracking windows is NOT enough for kids or pets.
Shorts, T-shirts, sunglasses and sandals/flip-flops weather to be sure have water to stay hydrated.
ATLANTA gets an average of 31 days with a high of at least 90 in summer and a yearly average of 35.
The most 100 degree days in a year in Atlanta is 9 back in 2007. The last time we had a 100 high was June 2016. Our highest ever recorded temperature is 105 in July 1980.
The chart below shows that our worst heat/humidity combination is unsurprisingly late July and early August when it is humid or worse close to 24 hours a day:
Upper-level high pressure system in the jet stream (cool and wet North and West, hot and dry Southeast) shown on 500mb jet stream level chart with upper level low pressure out West, the storm-track in between, little change in the pattern next 10+ days:
BRACE yourself for much higher than normal energy bills.
Triple digit highs on multiple days are LIKELY in Central, East and South Georgia, probably even all-time highs for May.
Although the extreme heat will ease off as we move along further into June, none-the-less the OUTLOOK for the next 6 weeks is for temperatures to average above-normal and for rainfall to average below-normal.
Mind your sunburn prevention safety tips:
UV RAYS FROM THE SUN ARE STRONGEST BETWEEN 10AM AND 2PM:
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