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This part of the US is about to endure heat it has never felt before

todayJune 18, 2024 3

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CARIBOU, Maine – A region known for its snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and being home to the first city in the Lower 48 to ring in the New Year, made history Tuesday when the National Weather Service office there issued its first-ever Excessive Heat Warning.The NWS office in Caribou services northeastern Maine. It issued its first Excessive Heat Warning for Piscataquis and Penobscot counties, where feels-like temperatures are expected to reach 105 degrees Wednesday.The heat wave is part of a historic dome of high pressure which has caused heat index values to climb over 100 degrees for large parts of the U.S. that usually aren’t accustomed to the heat. To warn about the dangers of the life-threatening heat, NWS meteorologists have a few alerts that are used when temperatures are expected to reach uncomfortable and even dangerous levels.These alerts are a Heat Advisory, an Excessive Heat Watch and an Excessive Heat Warning – tools the NWS office in Caribou has rarely used before the most recent heat wave.Criteria vary by coverage region, but NWS meteorologists in upstate Maine said they issue an Excessive Heat Warning when the heat index is expected to reach 105 degrees for at least 2 hours.SIGNIFICANT SUMMER HEAT WAVE RAMPS UP IN MIDWEST, NORTHEAST WITH 76 MILLION SWEATING UNDER HEAT ALERTSEven though the criteria is not expected to be reached in Caribou, the city of around 7,400 residents is still expecting near record-breaking temperatures.Caribou is forecast to have an air temperature of 95 degrees Wednesday, with a heat index reaching the low 100s.The warmest the most-northeastern city in the U.S. has ever reached is 96 degrees, which has occurred on three occasions, including the most recent on June 19, 2020.The highest heat index on record in Caribou is 101 degrees, which the NWS expects the region to easily surpass during the early summer heat wave.HOW THE POTENTIAL OF RECORD-BREAKING HEAT COULD IMPACT AMISH COUNTRYDue to the life-threatening heat, cooling centers are at the ready in many of the state’s 16 counties, including in Aroostook County, home to Caribou.According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, approximately 70% of households in Maine have some form of HVAC system capable of cooling their property.The figure is below the national average of 89%, with the states of Iowa and Delaware leading the way with an estimated 97% of households having the ability to cool down homes with the use of air-conditioning equipment.NWS meteorologists advised Mainers to drink plenty of fluids, stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces, avoid direct sunlight and check on relatives and neighbors.Temperatures are expected to return to more normal values by Friday, with lows that start out in the 50s and highs that only reach the mid-70s.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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