Community Environment

The National Weather Service in Louisville issued an excessive heat warning beginning 2 p.m. Thursday and running through Sunday.

The warm weather is part of a heatwave spanning the Plains to the East Coast.

In Louisville, temperatures are expected to hover around the low to mid 90s Thursday, but will ramp up through the weekend into the upper 90s.

Temperature is only half of the equation however. When combined with high humidity, Louisville can expect the heat index to peak between 105 and 110 degrees on Friday and Saturday.

“Glenn Frey’s sung ‘The Heat Is On’ and the heat is on. It’s going to be bad. The real bad days for this heat wave are Friday and Saturday,” said John Gordon, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The heat will begin to taper off Sunday with temperatures around 93 degrees and an increase in the chances of scattered thunderstorms.

Already, Louisville has seen four days this year with heat indices above 100 degrees but that is expected to double over the next four days. The city usually averages between three and seven days a year with an index over 100 degrees.

Look, it’s going to be hot OK? So drink water and stay cool.

Heat is one of the top weather-related causes of death and is especially dangerous for children, older adults and people with heart and lung issues.

“Everyone needs to be very cautious and recognize heat related emergencies are far more likely to occur in the very elderly and the very young because they don’t have the mechanisms in place to cope with the heat,” said Diane Vogel with MetroSafe.

More than 20 children in the U.S. have already died this year from heatstroke suffered while inside vehicles, according to the National Weather Service.

As we reported earlier this week, climate change will cause more hot, humid summer days in the coming decades.

Without reductions in climate-change inducing greenhouse gases, Kentucky could see 45 days every year with a heat index above 100 by 2050 — and 76 days by 2100, according to the report.

And by the end of the century if we don’t begin to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Kentucky could see heat indices exceeding 127 degrees.

“We use the National Weather Service’s heat index calculation to calculate head index temperatures across the country,” said Rachel Licker, senior climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The equation falls apart above 127 degrees Fahrenheit and so we found in some parts of the country there will be days that are literally off the charts.”

Ryan Van Velzer | wfpl.org

A look at the National Weather Service’s predictions for the days ahead.

 

 

Ryan Van Velzer is WFPL's Energy and Environment Reporter.