A combination of high temperatures and humidity will be scorching much of the U.S.—and even President Obama is warning everyone to stay safe.
This map says it all. Stay safe as it heats up: Drink water, stay out of the sun, and check on your neighbors. pic.twitter.com/c1qFTmq2IV
— President Obama (@POTUS44) July 20, 2016
A “heat dome”—a high pressure system in the mid atmosphere that pushes warmer air to the ground—has enveloped the central U.S. and is expected to reach other parts of the country over the weekend. The maximum heat index—a measure of how it actually feels when factoring in relative humidity—in areas such as St. Louis could reach 113 F while air temperatures in Washington, DC could reach 100 F.
While heat waves are a natural phenomenon, climate change plays a role amplifying the effect and making them more serious, Texas Tech University climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe said on a press call.
For a deeper dive:
Commentary: New York Times, Andrew Revkin column
Background: Climate Signals