June 8, 2022

Prolonged June Heat Wave Set To Slide East Across The U.S. Next Week

A solid early-season heat wave is roasting towns from California to Texas this week, with a string of daytime temperatures easily climbing above 100°F for many areas. This pattern will slide east heading into next week, bringing a prolonged period of very hot weather to the rest of the southern states.

This week's heat wave is courtesy of a broad upper-level ridge parked over the southwestern corner of the country. Widespread excessive heat warnings and heat advisories are in effect ahead of temperatures that could soar above 110°F in some spots, including California's Central Valley and the typical heat-prone desert communities.

Phoenix is under an excessive heat warning until Sunday evening. The city can expect daytime highs in the low 110s with nighttime lows hovering in the mid-80s. It's a dry heat, we love to say, but raw air temperatures that hot—paired with day after day of nighttime temperatures offering little relief—can easily take a toll on even the healthiest individual. 

It's not as drawn-out of an ordeal over in California, but the heat will make for a couple of rough afternoons over the next few days. The most impactful heat will crank over the Central Valley on Friday afternoon, with a predicted high of 105°F in Sacramento, 104°F in Modesto, and an even 100°F up in Redding. 

The pattern leading to this heat ridge over the southwestern states will break by this weekend as a trough dips southeastward over the Pacific Northwest. That trough will kick the ridge east, setting up a prolonged heat event for the rest of the southern U.S. 

Heading into next week, widespread daytime highs in the mid- to upper-90s look likely from Texas to the Carolinas, with multiple days of 100s on tap for parts of Texas. We could even see temperatures approach the triple-digit mark as far east as the Carolinas. 

Humidity makes the heat even worse. It's not just a cliché—the extra moisture in the air makes it harder for sweat to evaporate from your skin, preventing you from cooling off efficiently. This can quickly lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke if you're not careful.

Heat kills more people in the U.S. every year than any other type of extreme weather. Prolonged heat is especially deadly because of the stress exacted by days of extremely hot afternoons followed by sultry nights that offer no relief.

Source: CDC

The compounding effect of one hot day bleeding into the next exacts a terrible toll on vulnerable populations, such as low-income households without air conditions, the elderly, and those who are homeless or work long hours outdoors.

Most hot weather safety advice sounds condescending, but it's very easy for even a fit and perfectly healthy person to overdo it in hot weather and quickly grow ill because of overexertion. Drink more water than you think you need. Put off the chores and workouts until very early in the morning or late in the evening. The lawn will forgive you if you wait a week to mow it, and using a treadmill is better than passing out on a busy street.

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I graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2014 with a degree in political science and a minor in meteorology. I contribute to The Weather Network as a digital writer, and I've written for Forbes, the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang, Popular Science, Mental Floss, and Gawker's The Vane. My latest book, The Skies Above, is now available. My first book, The Extreme Weather Survival Manual, arrived in October 2015.