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Extreme Heat For the 4th Of July

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Temperatures reached the lower 90s Tuesday with a heat index peaking at 102 in Charleston for a couple of hours. As hot as it was, it could have been hotter. Monday evening's storms formed a debris cloud over much of West Virginia Tuesday morning that slowed our warmup for a time before breaking up in the afternoon.

We've had a much calmer evening this time...with any storms confined to eastern West Virginia where they've since fallen apart. However, that means we're going to get Wednesday off to a sunny start and temperatures will heat up from the get-go. By Noon, as the Ripley 4th of July parade is underway temperatures will already be around 90...and the heat index will be close to 100!

We'll peak at 95 in the afternoon and with 70+degree dewpoints our heat index should reach between 102-106....about 5 degrees higher than today. Those numbers haven't been seen around here since the Summer of 2012...so be ready for one of the hotter days we've experienced recently. Not only is it hotter than today...but it will be hotter for a longer time. We only had three hours in Charleston above 90....I expect we'll have 7 hours above 90 on Wednesday...more than double the time. That's why we're going from a Heat Advisory from today to an Excessive Heat Warning for Wednesday...indicating that heat-related illnesses are likely if precautions aren't taken.

Many folks will be spending the day outdoors enjoying the holiday...but be cognizant of the dangers of this kind of heat; take frequent breaks and drink lots of water and don't exert yourself too much. Be sure to check on your elderly neighbors to make sure they are doing well.

With this kind of heat and humidity it won't take much to set off some storms too. They won't get going until after Noon and even then they'll form first near and east of US 19. However, with a light easterly flow...any storms will drift west, not east, and a few can sneak into the valley by late afternoon or evening. We'll be watching to see where they go and whether they'll delay any man-made fireworks displays. Like the storms in recent days, any that form Wednesday will produce lots of lightning and torrential rainfall.

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