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Fourth Heat Wave Hits US, Drought Now Rivals Dust Bowl Conditions

US drought monitor

The United States is experiencing yet another heat wave this season, the fourth to hit us so far this year. And according to a report by the National Climatic Data Center, the 2012 drought is the biggest we’ve seen in over 50 years, covering more area than the historic drought of 1936 during the Dust Bowl years.

Temperatures across the nation are expected to reach the mid-90s, with heat indicies in the mid-100s. That’s a whopping 10 degrees hotter than it should be this time of year. By Wednesday evening, a cold front should kill some of the heat, putting temperatures back to the mid-80s.

The humidity is also considerably higher than normal, which you’ve probably noticed if you’ve spent more than 5 minutes outside. I think it was the point where sweat was dripping off my elbows that I realized we’re in for some dreadful weather. This may lead to scattered rain showers in the afternoon, lasting only a few minutes but dumping a substantial amount of water in that short period of time.

A heat advisory is out for the New Jersey area, which will last two to three days depending on the outlook given from Monday’s weather.

If you’re dealing with this heat without air conditioning in your home, your best bet is to try to spend time in a place with air conditioning whenever and wherever you can. Even if it’s just to run errands or a trip to the library or coffee shop to unwind. Stay out of the sun for long periods of time, take a cool shower right before bed, and keep a cool washcloth on your nightstand if you get warm at night. And don’t forget to think positive; it’s only 5 months until winter!

via Weather.com
Image: US Drought Monitor

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