Summer Makes a Comeback with the Fall Heat Wave

The Fall heat wave that has been smashing daily records in the United States is finally taking a breather later this week.

On Tuesday, November 1st, 2016, all-time November record highs were either tied or broken in at least twenty-two locations including:

  • Austin, Texas (91 degrees)
  • Birmingham, Alabama, (88 degrees)
  • Cincinnati, Ohio (82 degrees)
  • Columbus, Ohio (80 degrees)
  • Huntsville, Alabama (88 degrees)
  • Knoxville, Tennessee (85 degrees)
  • Louisville, Kentucky (85 degrees)
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin (77 degrees)
  • Nashville, Tennessee (88 degrees)
  • New Orleans, Louisiana (87 degrees)

So, what's causing this record-smashing heatwave? Taking a look at the weather patterns can shed some light on it.

A "Bermuda High" has created a southwesterly flow of air over the Eastern United States. As this air passes over hot, dry land, it picks up even more massive heat from the Earth. Gusty, dry winds also add to the sweltering heat and the mixing of the two has been creating dangerous fire conditions for much of the central plains.

A high pressure system in the upper atmosphere acts as a lid, preventing all of this hot air from escaping. The air is forced back down to Earth's surface, warming it even further on the way.

Most of the heat has been concentrated in the Southeast, but it's been clear that record-breaking temperatures have extended north. In October, New York City's temperatures climbed into the 80s, breaking records that have stood since 1928.

Fortunately, relief is on the horizon. On Friday, cooler air will arrive in much of the East. Cooler 40s, 50s, and 60s will rule the Northeast. Although because temperatures in the 70s will replace the record heat in the Tennessee Valley, temperatures only as low as 80s will be pushed to the Gulf Coast and throughout Northwest Florida, but lower temperatures are on the way, so we seriously suggest that you take the heat wave as an opportunity to stock up on some cold weather gear!

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