An extended string of 90° days is set to get underway in the Valley

Posted 07/01/2020 9:57 AM
Updated: 07/01/2020 3:13 PM

There has been a lot of talk on the weather news and social media about summer heat settling in for a time beginning mid-week. While the national cable channels focus on the big cities, I’m bringing weather information down to our local area. This is stuff you won’t see on TV because, well, it’s just the information related to our little corner of the world.

We’ve experienced hot temperatures in the summer before. This is nothing new for residents of the Tuscarawas Valley. Normally, we see at least a few days every summer where temperatures reach 90° or higher. Actually, it would be more unusual if we didn’t.

And, it is, after all, July. Climatologically speaking, July IS out hottest month.

But temperatures look to top 90° for an extended period beginning on Thursday (July 2) and staying at 90° or higher for at least the next 7 days. And, while we probably won’t break any records, it will stay hot for an extended period. We haven’t experienced a long heat wave like this for quite some time.

Temperature forecast from the National Weather Service National Blend of Models.

But, thankfully, the humidity looks to be on the low side – at least on Thursday and through the holiday weekend. Next week, however, is a different story. It will start to turn humid on Monday with dew points rising through the mid to the upper 60s. With the extra humidity, temperatures locally will feel like the mid to upper 90s.

The longest stretch of 90° days here in the Valley was 9 back in July of 2016. That year also brought a couple of additional 90° heat waves. I’m not confident we will break that nine consecutive day heat wave. I’m pretty confident we’ll have at least 7 in a row but nine is questionable yet.

All totaled, 2016 brought a total of 42 days where the afternoon high temperature reached 90° or higher. Not surprisingly, July of 2016 was the hottest July on record in New Phila.

So, what constitutes a Heat Wave? It depends on what part of the country you live in. In our area, a heat wave is generally thought to be 3 consecutive days where afternoon high temperatures reach 90° or higher. Using this as our accepted standard, the last heat wave we had in New Phila and the Valley occurred October 1 through the 3rd last year (2019).

Probably the most brutal heat wave we went through was, yeah, you guessed it – in 2016. The afternoon temperature reached 94° or higher for 5 consecutive days (July 23 through the 27th) that year.

We had a couple of similar 3-day heat waves in 1999 and 2012:

Our current forecast shows daytime high temperatures of at least 90° for the next 7 days. We might catch an 89° day next Thursday (7/8) then, right back to 90° on Friday of next week. But, that’s what the National Blend of Models depicts today. That’s likely to change a degree or three on any day as time moves forward. (Computer models are not infallible. And, it depends on the forecast skill each model possesses.)

There’s no reason to worry, though. While we might be stuck in a hot weather pattern for an extended period, you can always depend on our weather to change at some point. There are just too many movable parts for things to stay in one pattern for long.

All we can do is try our best to stay safe, check on our neighbors, and spend what time you can in cooler places. This year of social distancing will through a wrench into things so do your best and use common sense.

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