McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

July 17, 2013

5 things to know about the US heat wave

PHILADELPHIA — The first big heat wave of the summer is here, bearing down on all parts of the U.S., following temperatures that blistered the West Coast in June. Typically heat waves occur twice every summer. Meteorology director Jeff Masters of Weather Underground says expect the current bout of oppressive heat to last a bit longer than the usual three days. Look for relief by Saturday.

1. HEAT WAVE HIGHLIGHTS

Temperatures in the Northeast are 5 to 10 degrees above normal, with New York City experiencing the highest above-normal temperatures of any place in the country. The hottest summer in U.S. history — an average 73.83 degrees for the season — occurred during the Dust Bowl in 1936. The 2011 and 2012 summers tied for second hottest but were only one-tenth of a degree cooler than the record.

2. ODD BEHAVIOR

While the Northeast is burning up, Texas and Oklahoma recorded their all-time lowest temperatures for July 15. And in parts of Alaska, the readings were warmer Monday than parts of Texas. Alaska's eastern interior was in the low 80s, while Abeline, Texas, recorded a cool 68 degrees.

3. BAD HAIR WEEK

Besides making everyone uncomfortable, humidity is hard on a hairdo. Curly hair tends to frizz and flat hair tends to get, well, flatter. Alyssa Johnson of Pulse Beauty Academy near Philadelphia says the solution is to use special hair products to "seal" hair against the dense, moist air.

4. BASEBALL'S HOT AIR STATS

It is not a myth but a matter of physics that baseballs fly farther in hot, humid air. Physics professor Alan Nathan of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, explains. "The higher the temperature, the less air resistance, so the ball flies farther." Each increase in temperature by 10 degrees can increase the flight of a ball by 2 1/2 to 3 feet. A ball hit during the heat wave could fly 15 feet farther than a ball hit in 40-degree weather in, say, April in Chicago.

5. HOT PHONES NOT SO SMART

Most smartphones are designed to withstand extreme temperatures — many of them shut themselves down when they sense too much heat. But the batteries that power phones are still fairly vulnerable. Engineering professor Yury Gogotsi at Drexel University says high temperatures can cause batteries to die faster than normal and can lower a battery's life expectancy.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.