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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Heat wave, drought showing no signs of letting up

By Christina Paciolla Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA – The heat wave gripping parts of the country including Philadelphia, where tens of thousands are descending upon the city for the Democratic National Convention this week, is not going away anytime soon and will hit a peak Monday with temperatures in the city feeling like 108 degrees.

Excessive heat warnings will continue Monday, the first day of the convention, in the Philadelphia area, most of the Midwest and regions out west. It’s due to a dome of high pressure, meteorologists say, that’s affecting most of the United States, contributing to drought conditions in the Northeast and continuing to fuel wildfires in California.

“It’s fair to say that the vast majority of the nation has been experiencing above normal temperatures for the past week,” said David Robinson, New Jersey state climatologist at Rutgers University.

The dome of high pressure traps hot air and is the basis for the “critical high temperatures” the country has been experiencing the past week, Robinson said, even for being the warmest time of the year.

Thunderstorms are common, as they were in parts of New England over the weekend, but don’t help much with drought conditions in the Northeast and out west.

A main difference between the drought in the Northeast and out west is that the Northeast can pull out of those conditions at any time, Robinson said.

“The good news is that there’s always a chance that the pattern can switch in several weeks at any time of the year,” he added.

When will the heat wave break? Not anytime soon, Robinson said. Higher-than-normal temperatures are still expected in the six-to-10-day outlook. Two weeks out, the temperatures are still slated to be high. The good news is there’s a chance, Robinson added, of normal to above-normal precipitation.