I've been forecasting weather in central Virginia for six years now and in those six years I've seen many extremes. When it comes to heat, the summer of 2010 will always stand out in my mind for the long duration of hot summer days. However, the streak of hot and humid days we just experienced is also something I won't soon forget for a few different reasons.
Typically when we have temperatures that approach or exceed 100º, the humidity levels usually aren't incredibly oppressive. This last heat wave was different. Dew points (or the number we use to measure the moisture) were incredibly high. Many areas had dew points in the tropical mid and upper 70s, combined with temperatures that were in the triple digits. This combination gave central Virginia some of the highest heat index numbers that I've seen in many years. Here in Charlottesville, the heat index was running between 110 - 120º on Friday. Heat index numbers above 105º had been felt since the middle of the week. The extreme heat and humidity continued into the weekend.
Many records fell up and down the eastern seaboard on Friday. Here are some of the record temperatures that were observed on July 22.
Charlottesville: 101º (record high)
Dulles Airport: 105º (all-time record high)
Baltimore Airport: 106º (record high)
Baltimore Inner Harbor: 108º with a heat index as high as 124º
Temperatures in the triple digits were felt as far north as Boston, with heat index numbers across a huge area in the 110 - 120º range.
We will get a brief reprieve in the humidity by Tuesday and Wednesday, but the heat and muggy levels will be on the rise by the end of the next work week!
Until next time,