Brutal Heat waves Expected to Continue as Summer Temperatures Rise

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While the west coast hasn’t been too affected by the concerning heat wave that is scorching middle America and the east coast, that could all soon change. Within the past few weeks, rising temperatures have affected many throughout the country, including the cancellation of OZY Fest and Triathalon in New York, and the death of a former NFL champion in Arkansas. Experts say the summer of 2019 will bring brutal heat waves expected to grip the hotter months of the season. Heatwaves are becoming increasingly common in the United States as well as in parts of Europe. 

You may be feeling it here in San Diego, as July is the most humid month of the year. Humidity is the amount of water vapors in the air. If humidity levels are high, the air is saturated with water vapor and our sweat won’t evaporate. When this happens, we feel hotter than the actual temperature.

Extreme heat is one of the deadliest weather phenomena in the world. High temperatures cause seriously harmful health effects like heat stroke, which can begin at 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Heatstroke can lead to organ failure, heat exhaustion, and even death. 

But that’s not the only threat that heat waves pose to the well-being of the general public. Extreme heatwaves can worsen conditions like high blood pressure, and can limit the effectiveness of certain medications. It can also amplify air pollution, leading to hospitalizations due to respiratory problems. 

With higher temperatures, we are also faced with an increased demand for electricity for cooling. This past week, New York City was faced with widespread blackouts due to too high of a demand for electricity for air conditioning. This left thousands of people without power as temperatures continued to rise. 

During a heatwave, you may think relief from the heat comes at night, but this isn’t the case in densely packed cities. Urban centers packed with concrete, steel, glass, and asphalt soak up heat, causing temperatures to continue to rise even well into the night. 

In the next few decades, if carbon emissions continue to rise, we could see more heatwaves continue to slam the country. The Southeast, Southwest, and Alaska will potentially see the most dramatic heat waves for these areas, with temperatures reaching 10 degrees Fahrenheit on average. 

As heat waves continue to happen, it’s important to know how to stay safe as these dangerous events happen. Check out these tips to help you keep cool. 

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