Sweltering summer heat wave to take aim at Midwest into Sunday

A dangerous heat wave, currently building, will reach its peak in the Midwest on Friday and Saturday but will continue in some areas through the weekend.

While the northeastern United States is bracing for some of the longest hot weather of the year so far this weekend into next week, the wave of heat will hit and peak sooner over the Midwest.

Showers and locally severe thunderstorms that have riddled much of the region in recent days will shift away over the rest of this week. The last batch of torrential downpours and locally severe storms will focus over the lower Great Lakes and Ohio and Tennessee valleys into Wednesday night.

Temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit will be experienced over parts of the central and southern Plains into Friday.

Static NC Thursday

The stage is set for 90-degree temperatures to build northeastward from the middle Mississippi Valley at midweek to much of the Midwest spanning Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

While the evaporation of moisture from the ground due to the relentless downpours of late will limit maximum temperatures somewhat, the moisture in the air will result in oppressive humidity levels along with the heat.

Static Midwest Peak heat

AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will surge to between 95 and 110 over a broad area for several hours during the midday and afternoon.

Homeowners who do not have air conditioning may want to set up an area in a cool basement to spend time out of the heat.

There will be an elevated risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke during the upcoming weather pattern.

In urban areas of the major cities, such as Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit and Cincinnati, cooling stations will be needed. The vast expanse of concrete and pavement will give off heat at night and make sleeping difficult without air conditioning.

People who must partake in manual labor or feel the urge to exercise should try to do so when temperatures are lowest, such as the early morning, evening and overnight hours.

People are urged to drink plenty of liquids and limit their intake of alcohol in weather patterns such as these. Alcohol can accelerate dehydration.

Be sure to check on the elderly, young children and pets on a regular basis. If your pet cannot be brought indoors to a cool place, make sure they have a shady area and plenty of fresh water.

Motorists are encouraged to reduce their speed on the highway and keep tires properly inflated to lower the risk of a blowout during extreme heat.

The heat wave is projected to break down from northwest to southeast as a swath of thunderstorms advances from the northern Plains later this weekend into early next week. As a result, it should not be as oppressive by the Fourth of July over the region.

Summer weather across the US in 2018
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Summer weather across the US in 2018
NEWPORT BEACH, CA - AUGUST 17: A man and his nephew enjoy the warm water at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point on Friday, August 17, 2018. (Photo by Paul Bersebach/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 17: People cool themselves during a warm day at Central Park on August 17, 2018 in New York City. Severe thunderstorms and even an isolated tornado could strike New York City on Friday. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
WEEHAWKEN, NJ - AUGUST 17: A man takes a look of the haze over the New York skyline and One World Trade Center on August 17, 2018 in Weehawken, New Jersey. Severe thunderstorms and even an isolated tornado could strike New York City on Friday. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images
NEWPORT BEACH, CA - AUGUST 10: A surfer loses it on a wave in Newport Beach on Friday, August 10, 2018. A swell from Hurricane John will bring larger waves to south-facing beaches through the weekend. (Photo by Paul Bersebach/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
A man sunbathes on Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California on August 7, 2018. Temperatures climbed to near 100 degrees as a week-long heat wave continues in Southern California. (Photo by Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
WELLFLEET, MA - JUNE 21: Mark Wilke and his wife Sharon enjoy the first day of summer at White Crest Beach in Wellfleet, MA on June 21, 2018. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA - JUNE 20: A pedestrian passes near the Netherlands Carillon as the Washington Monument and United States Capitol are seen at sunrise on Wednesday June 20, 2018 in Arlington, VA. The summer solstice is Thursday. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Pedestrians watch sailboats and windsurfers on the Charles River on the summer solstice in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A women keeps in the shade of her umbrella as she tries to beat the heat at Cardiff State beach in Encinitas, California, U.S. July 6, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A man cools off in fountain on the Rose Kennedy Greenway during a summer heat wave in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., July 2, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
OLD ORCHARD BEACH, ME - JULY 4: Ryan Parsons, left, of Unity watches as his daughter, Lily, 10, rides the waves on her inflatable whale at Old Orchard Beach on a hot, beautiful Fourth of July. The Parson family was spending the day at the beach keeping cool and watching the fireworks. (Staff photo by Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
NEW JERSEY, USA - JUNE 30: People enjoy Manhattan skyline at the Hamilton Park during the hot weather in New Jersey, United States on June 30, 2018. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, July 2, 2018 -- People cool themselves at a fountain at Washington Square Park in New York City, the United States, on July 2, 2018. The highest temperature reached 35 degrees Celsius in New York City on Monday as a result of a prolonged heat wave. (Xinhua/Wang Ying via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - JULY 23: Rain clouds are seen over Lower Manhattan in New York, United States on July 23, 2018. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW JERSEY, USA - JULY 27: People walk with their umbrellas during a rainy day at the Liberty State Park in New Jersey, United States on July 27, 2018. (Photo by Atlgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

However, long-lasting cool air and low humidity are not foreseen.

"In the heart of the Midwest, temperatures are likely to remain well above average through much of the first half of July," according to AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Max Vido.

For the upper Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley and Great Lakes, instead of highs in the middle 90s, highs may be in the upper 80s to lower 90s, while 100-degree heat holds on or fights back over the central and southern Plains.

"The dog days of summer are setting in, perhaps a little ahead of schedule," Vido said.

The dog days of summer are typically from July 3 to Aug. 11 in the U.S., according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.

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