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
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video
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.