The extreme heat wave extending from the middle of the North American continent to the Canadian and American east coast is being attributed to unusually high temperatures, meteorologists say.
“Unseasonably high levels over a prolonged period of time seem to be at the centre of this heat wave we’ve been experiencing from the Dakotas to Massachusetts,” said Les Nessman, US National Weather Service.
Richard Sanders, spokesman for Environment Canada, was quick to concur.
“It really boils down to too much heat over too much time, if you’ll forgive the pun,” he said. “Fortunately, the remedy for all this is simple: more moderate temperatures over a similar length of time, or alternating patterns of rising and falling heat over the same period of time. Extended lower temperatures would also help, and are theoretically possible, though those are statistically more likely to occur in mid and late autumn.”
In the meantime, he recommends that people wear lighter clothing, drink plenty of fluids, and seek shade during the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If sun exposure is required, SPF-90 sunscreen, UV-block eyewear, and a large floppy hat are recommend.
“I love meteorology,” Sanders added. “Science really is the answer to everything.”