Man, it’s a hot one.
If it feels like the sun is hovering right over your head, it’s the fault of a mix of humidity and high temperatures that will push the heat index — sort of the summer version of winter’s wind chill — past 100 degrees this week.
And according to AccuWeather, triple digits are already here: Stafford saw the state’s hottest temperature, 101 degrees, on Tuesday.
The National Weather Service predicts it will heat up, but it won’t cool down for a few days as the region joins the heat wave roasting much of the country east of the Mississippi River.
Forecasts for Charlottesville call for high temperatures of 96 degrees Wednesday with highs creeping up close to 100 by Friday.
Similar temperatures are forecast as far north as Michigan and as far west as Salt Lake City, Utah.
To make matters worse, possibly damaging thunderstorms fueled by heat and tropical moisture from the remnants of Tropical Storm Barry could pop up in the afternoon and through the next two days.
“Heat indices around 100 degrees are possible during the afternoon and early evening hours,” the weather service warned in a hazardous weather statement for the region. “Increasing heat and tropical moisture may result in thunderstorms capable of producing a few damaging wind gusts or isolated instances of flooding.”
The weather service warns that the same weather pattern can be expected Wednesday and Thursday. Friday could be even worse.
“Dangerous heat and humidity are likely Friday through Sunday across the entire area,” the service advises. “Heat indices around 105 to 110 degrees are possible during the afternoon and evening hours each day, especially in the Valleys and east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.”
Meteorologists warn that the predictions could prove perilous if they come to pass.
“If the prolonged heat and humidity is realized, it will become a significant threat to anyone exposed to the heat for an extended period of time,” the advisory states.
Tuesday’s high of 94 degrees in Charlottesville, however, was six degrees short of the record high set in 1997, according to AccuWeather.
A release from the Virginia Department of Emergency advises staying indoors as much as possible and ensuring that cooling devices are functioning and that homes are well insulated, with weather stripping around doors and windows to keep cool air in. Drivers are further advised to check their car battery and tires, which can experience adverse effects from the heat.
During a heat wave, an individual’s body temperature may rise faster than sweat can cool it off, causing damage to the brain and other organs, according to the release. Heat related illnesses include: heat cramps, heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.
VDEM will continue to closely monitor the forecast and prepare for extreme heat expected to impact the commonwealth all week.