It’s officially the dog days of summer in West Central Illinois, with local temperatures expected to reach higher than they have all year over the next several days.
Starting tomorrow at noon through Saturday evening, the National Weather Service is issuing an Excessive Heat advisory for the Jacksonville and surrounding area as temperatures approach triple digits.
Storm Team 20 Meteorologist Joe Crain says the overbearing heat could make temperatures feel much higher than they actually are.
“Add in some tropical humidity with dew points getting into the seventies, the cumulative effect will drive those dreaded heat index values, the so-called ‘feels like’ temperatures, up to around 105 to as much as 110 degrees. So the National Weather Service has issued that excessive heat watch, indicating that the combination of heat and humidity will push those ‘feels-like’ temperatures up to around 105 to 110 degrees at the peak of daytime heating each day Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” says Crain.
Crain looks at how this July compares to those over the past several decades.
“On average we see highs in July of 86 to 87 degrees over the past thirty to forty years. So this is a case where we’re seeing some excessive heat with temperature running about ten to twelve above normal for several days straight, along with the excessive humidity as well. Of course summertime we expect it to be hot and humid in central Illinois, but these times when the temperatures are a good ten degrees higher than normal, plus the excessive humidity, it’s certainly time to pay attention to it as compared to a normal hot summer day in central Illinois,” Crain says.
As for when this immoderate heat could subside, Crain says that while we’ll start to see some chances of showers on Sunday, the rest of the month looks to be very hot and very dry.
“We’re going to see some shower and thunderstorm chances by Sunday into the early part of next week, not only bringing us some rain that we desperately need at this point, but also looks to bring some moderating temperatures. However, looking beyond the next seven days or so, it looks like we’re generally going to see above average chances for above average temperatures and below average chances for rainful. So if that trend continues, it looks like the rest of July could end up being pretty hot and pretty dry,” Crain explains.
There are a number of ways to combat the immoderately high temperatures. Crain says the best thing to do when dealing with excessive heat is to stay well-hydrated and drink plenty of water. And for those who work outdoors on days such as these, Crain says to listen to your body and don’t over-do it.