Heatwave Update

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By Steve MacLaughlin on July 16, 2013, 3:26pm Last modified: July 17, 2013, 12:35pm

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As of noon on Tuesday our "unofficial" heatwave became "official" with the third straight day at or above 90 degrees.

Most of Connecticut can now claim a heatwave, but for our records, we look at two locations: Bridgeport for the shoreline and Bradley Airport for our inland numbers. These two locations are where all the climate data is kept so we can look back to the 1800s to compare the weather on any given day.

On Sunday, Bridgeport hit 90 degrees and then surged to 94 on Monday. As of 3pm on Tuesday, Bridgeport is back up to 94 degrees which ties the daily record from July 16th, 1983 and 1952.

Bradley Airport had a high temperature of 92 degrees on Sunday and 94 on Tuesday. As of the time of this article, the high hit 92 degrees but then dropped back down to 88 degrees at 3pm. If this 92 degrees holds then the old record of 96 degrees from 1983, 1980 and 1968 will stand for another year.

Obviously, the temperature alone is not the story, but the heat index or the temperature your body thinks it is as it tries to keep cool because of the humidity in the air. Remember that if it is 100 degrees out and very, very dry like Las Vegas, when your body "sweats," you don't actually see much sweat because as quickly as the sweat tries to condense onto your skin, it evaporates back into the air, efficiently keeping your body nice and cool. But, when it's 90 degrees and very humid outside like it is now, the sweat forms on your skin and it can't evaporate into the air because the air already has so much moisture in it. So...you get very wet and have a hard time staying cool. That is why the heat index is the real number that matters.

As of 3pm on Tuesday, the highest heat index values during this heatwave peaked at about lunchtime on Monday with several areas, especially in Southern Connecticut where this is more humidity, reporting 100 degrees on the nose.

Now that we are three days into this heatwave, it is certainly looking possible to extened it to five, six or maybe even seven days. The last time we had a five-day heatwave in CT was July of 2011. The last time we had a six-day heatwave was July of 2010. The last time we had a seven-day heatwave was August of 2009.

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Steve MacLaughlin

Town: New Haven, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since January 2012.

Articles: 178

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