A suffocating heat wave has engulfed the Northeast this week, with temperatures expected in the mid to high nineties through till the weekend, while the heat index value could reach the low 100s.
The stifling heat, which in New York City will be 97 degrees Monday and 98 degrees on Tuesday, is prompting heat advisories throughout the region, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
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A jet stream in Canada in an atmospheric "blocking pattern" that can last for weeks caused the blistering heat, according to meteorologists.
Atmospheric scientist Angela Fritz with the San Francisco-based weather service company Weather Underground predicts the heat wave will remain through at least Saturday.
"The real problem with heat waves is not that it gets as high during the day, but it doesn’t get as low at night, and that’s what causes so much stress on the body," Fritz told the Christian Science Monitor. "Our bodies need that overnight low to recover from the day’s heat and if it doesn’t get that that, our bodies get stressed."
The relentless heat poses a significant health risk to many individuals, particularly the elderly, children, as well as those with pre-existing medical conditions and outdoor laborers.
Approximately 650 deaths caused each year by extreme heat are preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The organization released a study in June in its journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that found there were 7,233 heat-related deaths from 1999 to 2009, CBS News reported.
In southern New England, the average temperature in July has been four to seven degrees above average in Boston, Hartford and Providence, the Weather Channel reported
In New York City, Newark, and Philadelphia, the first 15 days of July have been three to five degrees above average.
June 2013 was the 15th warmest month on record in the U.S., according to a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) on Monday.
The average temperature was two degrees above the 20th century average at 70.4 degrees last month.
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