More summer heat on the way for Southern New England

Summer Weather

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Well, we all knew summer couldn’t keep away for too long.

Now that we’ve entered the “dog days of August,” the summer feel has finally returned.

For quite some time, the jet stream was located south of New England, which helped keep the heat away and even brought below-average temperatures to the area.

This was what the atmosphere looked like over the past several weeks. However, the jet stream has readjusted to the north and we are now in a more typical summer pattern with heat and humidity.

As a result, heat advisories and other heat-related alerts have been issued ahead of some serious heat for the rest of this week.

A Heat Advisory is in effect until 8 p.m. Wednesday heat indices (feel-like temperatures) up to 100 degrees during the afternoon. The best chance to see heat indices near 100 will be away from the coast.

An Excessive Heat Watch will also be in effect from 11 a.m. Wednesday until 8 p.m. Thursday for expected heat indices of 100 degrees. The potential exists for heat index values to reach between 105 and 109 degrees.

The emoji says it all! Downright oppressive conditions ahead thanks to a combination of hot temperatures and very high humidity.

So why are we expecting such oppressive heat?

There are several factors to consider. When combining hot temperatures with high humidity levels, the “feel-like” temperatures typically will feel hotter. The air feels more dense and heavy along with that sticky feel on a typical summer day.

Also factors to take into account are the time of year, in this case mid-August, as well as how much sunshine is present on a given day.

Keep in mind, land heats up faster than water, so typically coastal areas or other locations near a body of water tend to be cooler.

For us in Rhode Island, wind direction also plays a large role. If the winds are off the cooler ocean waters, it’ll help keep temperatures lower. If the wind is out of the west (or from over land), that’s when temperatures can spike up.

Speaking of spiking up, look at these feel-like temperatures for the rest of the week. These are very location dependent and inland areas have the best chance of seeing these numbers come to fruition.

Besides the oppressive heat indices and high humidity, there is also the chance for an official heat wave.

To make an official heat wave, there needs to be at least three consecutive days of temperatures 90 degrees or higher.

Since Providence uses measurements taken at T.F. Green in Warwick, the airport will need to see three days of 90+ degrees for an official heat wave.

It’s going to be a close call as to whether an official heat wave occurs. It’s very location dependent and some areas, especially further north, will certainly reach well into the 90s this week.

Either way, oppressive heat is on the way and you should be prepared to beat it by staying hydrated and cool while also checking on family, friends and neighbors, especially those are more prone to the heat like the elderly.

Connect with 12 News Meteorologist Steven Matregrano on social media

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