Heavy heat expected through Labor Day

August 29, 2018

HUNTINGTON — The tail end of the dog days of summer will continue to roast the Tri-State through Labor Day weekend with heat index values reaching the upper 90s for much of the week, the National Weather Service predicts.

The NWS issued a hazardous weather outlook for the entire Tri-State early Tuesday due to the extreme heat index, which will be effective through Labor Day.

Thunderstorms expected Thursday may briefly drop temperatures into the comparatively cooler mid-80s before a string of clear sunny days raises temperatures back near 90 degrees over the three-day weekend.

“This is a pattern typical for this time of year,” said Ray Young, meteorologist with the NWS in Charleston. “Having cool weather last week makes it still seem a little more extreme with lots of moisture causing the heat index to reach the mid-to upper 90s. This is typical of the dog days of summer.”

Heat index is a metric that combines the effects of both heat and moisture to more accurately reflect the temperature experienced by the human body, rather than simple air temperature. A dry heat, Young explained, would not be as taxing on the body as a humid heat.

For example, while the true air temperature in Huntington was 93 degrees Tuesday, the heat index was 99 degrees, reflecting how much hotter it seemed. Wednesday’s forecast is more of the same: high temperatures in the low 90s, with a heat index projected at 98.

The heat has forced coaches across the area to modify their practice and game plans.

Cabell Midland High School’s junior varsity football game Monday in St. Albans was canceled at halftime after two St. Albans players were treated for heat-related illnesses. Marshall University’s men’s soccer match Monday evening

against Oakland University was intermittently stopped for water breaks throughout both halves.

In Ashland on Tuesday, the Boyd County vs. Ashland girls soccer game was stopped at various points for 10-minute delays so the players could take water breaks because the heat index during the game was 102 degrees. Players in the Huntington High vs. Spring Valley girls soccer game also took breaks every 20 minutes.

Late summer also produces some of the heaviest fog of the year because of the dramatic differences in day/night temperatures.

The afternoon heat causes water temperature to rise on the area’s rivers and creeks during the day. At night, the water temperatures stay warmer longer as the air temperature above turns dramatically cooler, particularly in September.

The Ohio River Valley experiences some of the most days with heavy fog in the United States.

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