Cedar Rapids braces for record-high temperatures this week

August 23, 2023 by No Comments

Cedar Rapids is anticipated to exceed historical high temperatures in the upcoming week due to a hazardous heat wave sweeping across a significant portion of the central United States.

The local branch of the National Weather Service, specifically the Quad Cities bureau, has reported that the area it covers, extending from Eastern Iowa to western Illinois, will experience intense heat and humidity until Thursday. Ambient air temperatures are forecasted to rise to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Coupled with elevated dew points, this will result in afternoon temperatures feeling like they are between 100 and 115 degrees.

The NWS Quad Cities bureau issued an excessive heat warning, the highest level of heat-related alert, on Monday morning. This warning has been extended until 8 p.m. on Thursday. It marks the second instance of such a warning being declared for Cedar Rapids during this summer, with the initial warning being released on July 27. The entire state of Iowa is presently under an excessive heat warning.

The meteorological explanation for this heat wave closely resembles the conditions that led to the heat dome phenomenon experienced by much of the nation in late July. Currently, there exists a high-pressure air mass centered over southern Iowa, encompassing the majority of the central U.S. This atmospheric pattern is trapping hot summer air beneath it, resulting in scorching temperatures in various communities.

This heat wave is anticipated to bring the highest temperatures of the year to Eastern Iowa and might even lead to the breaking of historical temperature records in Cedar Rapids and surrounding areas.

As of now, the highest recorded temperature in Cedar Rapids for August 23 is 99 degrees in 1947, and 100 degrees for August 24 in the same year. However, it is projected that the ambient air temperatures for this Wednesday and Thursday could reach as high as 101 degrees.

The last instance of Cedar Rapids reaching a temperature of 100 degrees was on August 30, 2013.

The most extreme conditions are expected on Wednesday afternoon. Places like Cedar Rapids and Iowa City could feel as hot as 115 degrees, while temperatures in other parts of the state might even exceed that. For instance, Fort Madison could experience “feels-like” temperatures of up to 118 degrees.

Given the perilous heat, the NWS Quad Cities bureau offers the following advice to residents:

  • Consume an ample amount of water.
  • Opt for light-colored and loose clothing.
  • Take regular breaks in air-conditioned environments or shaded areas.
  • Minimize sun exposure, and if necessary, wear both sunscreen and a hat.
  • Maintain contact with family and neighbors, particularly elderly individuals, those who are unwell, and those without access to air conditioning.
  • Avoid leaving children or pets in parked vehicles.
  • Adjust physically demanding activities to the early morning or evening hours.

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