For the first time in South Bend history, the mercury hit 100 degrees on July 4th.
WSBT-TV Chief Meteorologist Paul Emmick says the 100 degree temperature Wednesday afternoon broke the old Independence Day record of 99 last achieved in 1921.
The heatwave will continue for the next few days. Thursday and Friday’s highs should also climb to the 100 mark, maybe even hotter in the southern part of our listening area.
Unlike last week, when our area saw triple digits, this week will be extremely humid. Heat index values will be 105 to 110 degrees.
Because of the extreme heat, the National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for the entire WSBT viewing area through Saturday evening.
. . . Keep Your Cool . . .
Here are some hot weather safety tips from the Indiana Department of Health:
Pace yourself: For work or recreation in the sun, be sure to take frequent breaks to take on fluids and cool off out of the heat.
Stay cool: Use air-conditioning, if it's available; if it's not available, take cool baths, showers, or sponge baths and temporarily inhabit dry basement spaces, which can be 10-15 degrees cooler
Eat lighter meals: Avoid use of your stove by eating more salads, fresh vegetables and fruit
Dress appropriately: Wear light-colored, lightweight cotton clothing, which readily releases perspiration and reflects heat. Cotton absorbs perspiration better and thus cools better than synthetics
Drink fluids: Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages (water is best), especially when you're outdoors, to keep the body's cooling system operating efficiently; avoid alcohol, which can induce dehydration
Carry water: When you're away from home, keep water in non-breakable bottles with you to easily replenish fluids lost to perspiration
Look after the very young and elderly: Babies and older adults are more susceptible to heat induced illness; check on them regularly. Never leave children in a vehicle, even with windows partially open. Vehicle interiors heat to dangerous levels quickly.
Pets need extra TLC in hot weather too: Keep them supplied with fresh, cool water and shade for outside pets. Never leave pets in a vehicle, even with the windows partially open. Vehicle interiors heat to dangerous levels quickly.
. . . Heat's ON! . . .
2012 has been an exceptional year with plenty of weather records broken. So far this year, people in South Bend have seen 16 days of 90 degrees or warmer. In June alone, the South Bend Regional Airport saw nine days of high temperatures above 90 degrees, and for the first time since 1999 topped out at 100 degrees on June 28.
It's rare to see such extensive heat in our area, but it's not unheard of. One of the major reasons we are seeing temperatures so warm is because of the area's severe drought.
The last time Michiana experienced a severe drought was 1988. During that summer, South Bend had 44 days of 90 degrees or warmer. With another 10 to 12 weeks of potential 90 degree days remaining in 2012, Matt says it's possible this summer could resemble 1988 if patterns don't change.