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Dangerous heat wave to strike Midwest, much of eastern U.S. this weekend

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Temperatures in Detroit are predicted to exceed 95 degrees

The beach at Campus Martius
Photo by Michelle Gerard

Earlier in the month the National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for Detroit and some other Midwest cities. It turns out that was just a preview for what’s coming this weekend.

Temperatures are likely to hit or exceed 95 degrees in Detroit and many other cities throughout the country, but especially the Midwest and East Coast. The current forecast for Detroit predicts a high of 98 degrees on Saturday and 96 degrees on Sunday with unusually high overnight lows that may set records. The heat index, or what the temperature “feels like,” is expected to hit 108.

According to the Washington Post...

The sauna-like conditions forecast are the result of a sprawling and intense heat dome or zone of high pressure that will swell over the eastern two-thirds of the nation beginning Wednesday. Temperatures will soar as many as 10 to 20 degrees above normal. That may not sound like a lot, but considering it is the hottest time of the year, the resulting heat will challenge records in some areas.

Heat waves aren’t uncommon in summer, but these kinds of events have been happening with more frequency and will continue to increase in number year-over-year. According to a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the number of days where the heat index exceeds 100 in Michigan is expected to increase 1,100 percent by midcentury.

Heat waves are dangerous events that pose health risks and stress city infrastructure. The “urban heat island effect,” which causes temperatures to be higher in areas of concentrated human activity, exacerbates the dangers in cities.

On extremely hot days, it’s important to stay cool, remain hydrated, and be careful when going outside. If you feel or see someone that’s dizzy or nauseous, it could be heat stroke, in which case you should call 911.

The city of Detroit has designated a number of places around the city as cooling centers. Here’s a list of those locations with days and times when they’re open.