The northeastern United States will sizzle this week as summer heat builds to near-record levels in some places, with many metropolitan areas experiencing the hottest air temperatures of the summer so far as a heat wave envelopes a wide swath of the United States.
In the nation’s capital AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures on Saturday are forecast to reach 113 F, just 3 degrees shy of the AccuWeather RealFeel Temperature forecast for Death Valley, California, on the same day.
Washington, D.C., will also swelter with a forecast high of 102; however, the nation’s capital likely won’t break its daily and all-time high of 106 hit on July 20, 1930, about 12 years after the mercury hit 106 in 1918. However, this is forecast to be the first triple-digit heat to grip the nation’s capital since the summer of 2016.
While actual temperatures will be higher in Death Valley, humidity levels will make it feel as hot or hotter than the Southwest in parts of the Central and Eastern states.
“The combination of sunshine, temperature, humidity levels and other factors will push AccuWeather RealFeel Temperatures well into the danger level past 105 degrees during the late morning and afternoon hours,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson cautioned. Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a heat emergency on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Philadelphia and New York City followed suit and declared emergencies due to the heat. According to a press release New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, approximately 500 cooling centers have been activated around the city.
“Extreme heat is dangerous, period,” de Blasio said in a statement. “I urge all New Yorkers to exercise caution this weekend as temperatures near 100.” He added, “We are deploying all resources at our disposal to ensure New Yorkers remain safe and cool during extreme heat.”
While temperatures may be briefly held back in areas that receive a thorough drenching as Barry moves through into Thursday, intense July sunshine combined with a northward retreat of the jet stream will allow an impressive heat wave to build even for midsummer standards for many locations across the Northeast.
“Actual temperatures in some of the major cities, such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City are likely to peak within a few degrees of the century mark at the peak of the heat wave this weekend,” Anderson said.
At this level, temperatures will be 10-15 degrees above average even for the middle of the summer.
“Cooling demands will surge with the intense heat wave,” according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.
Among the cities that could break or challenge records on Saturday is Manchester, New Hampshire, which is forecast to hit the century mark. The daily record high in Manchester for July 20 is 94 F set in 1949. Manchester’s all-time record is 103, set on July 22, 2011.
Farther south, Newark, New Jersey, will challenge its daily record of 100 degrees. The mercury is forecast to soar to 101 on Saturday. Newark hasn’t experienced a 100-degree temperature since 2013.
As hot as it will be this weekend in the New York City area, the Big Apple’s all-time high temperature record of 106, set on July 9, 1936, is not in danger of falling.
With a forecast high of 101, Philadelphia could shatter its daily high of 97 on Saturday. The AccuWeather RealFeel temperature will be sweltering as it climbs above 110. The City of Brotherly Love hasn’t recorded triple-digit heat since July 2012.
Other spots on the East Coast that will feel the heat and challenge records on Saturday include Atlantic City, New Jersey, which is forecast to hit 100, a temperature that would break its record of 98 for the day, and Richmond, Virginia, which is forecast to hit 101. Its record high for the day is 103. Most places won’t set all-time or monthly heat records.
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The heat will be felt in the Midwest as well with temperatures forecast to approach 100 and record highs poised to fall, including Chicago where the heat could peak late this week and AccuWeather RealFeel temperatures will push 105.
People should avoid strenuous activity during the peak of the heat and when the sun is high in the sky. Be sure to stay hydrated by consuming non-alcoholic fluids at regular intervals.
Heat kills more people on an annual basis than any other weather factor.
The temperature of paved and concrete surfaces can be dozens of degrees higher than the air temperature. Not only does this contribute to a buildup of excessive heat in urban areas, but it can also be a safety hazard.
The hot pavement can also burn the bare feet of young children and pets’ paws.
Motorists on the highway are reminded to reduce their speed during extremely hot weather. Driving at high speed, excessive braking and weaving in and out of traffic during very hot weather can cause the tire temperature to exceed manufacturer’s safety limits and lead to a blowout.
There will be rounds of thunderstorms prowling the northern tier of the U.S. through this weekend. It is possible that some communities around the Great Lakes and New England get a break every now and then as these storms race through.
The same pattern can bring severe weather in the northern tier as well in the form of long-lived thunderstorm complexes.
“Temperatures are forecast to throttle back to seasonable levels or even slightly below average for a time next week in the East as heat shifts to the western U.S.,” Pastelok said. “There should also be a substantial drop in humidity in the Northeast next week.”
Highs most days next week will range from the middle 70s over the higher mountains to near 90 in southeastern Virginia.
Download the free AccuWeather app for more details on temperature trends in your community. Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.