What’s A Heat Wave Anyway? | Service Mark Solutions

What’s A Heat Wave Anyway?

We’re hav’n a heat wave…” – might be familiar lyrics to you.

Listen here to remind yourself of the Irving Berlin musical of 1933, called As Thousands Cheer, from which it came originally.

Or perhaps you’ll remember the version performed by the late Marilyn Monroe in the 1954 musical There’s No Business Like Show Business.

But a real Heat Wave is nothing to scoff at and it certainly is not entertaining. It’s a very dangerous situation and one that should not be treated lightly!

Large thermometer with sky in background

Let’s learn more.

For many, a heat wave might sound like an excuse to run around under sprinklers and spray passersby with cold water. In reality, though, Heat Waves are a serious weather phenomenon that can bring everything from power outages to buckling road surfaces. In fact, during the heat wave of late June into July 2012, more than 8,000 warm temperature records were broken and many had been unchallenged since the 1930’s. Many deaths were attributed to this particular hot weather spell!

How Do Heat Waves Form?

Heat waves are usually the result of trapped hot air and during the 2012 heat wave, this air was trapped over much of North America for many weeks. Most air will naturally cycle across the globe but this air mass stayed put, continuously heating up as if it was in an oven.

The reason? A high-pressure system migrated north from Mexico from June 20th and June 23rd and grew in size and stayed parked over the Great Plains of the United States. High-pressure weather systems force air downward and prevents air, near the ground, from rising and escaping. This sinking air mass acts like a cap trapping the warm air at the surface and without the air being able to rise, as it normally will, there was no rain and nothing to prevent the hot air from getting even hotter!

Heat Wave Safety

Unlike dramatic weather conditions occurring with tornados, hurricanes, flooding or even thunderstorms, heat waves kill more people than all other weather related disasters combined!

Man spraying himself with a garden hose to cool down

So please consider the following:

  • Take it easy and slow down – avoid doing strenuous work
  • Dress for the hot weather in lightweight light-colored clothing
  • Avoid high- protein foods and meat – eating these can increase your body’s heat output
  • Drink lots of water and stay hydrated at all times
  • Seek air conditioned space (find a friend with air conditioning or even go rest in a public library)
  • Avoid getting too much sun and remember, sunburns make it much harder for your body to cool down
  • Be extremely careful in cars as they heat up fast with windows closed
  • Keep an eye on your pets and elderly next door neighbors

ServiceMark Heating Cooling & Plumbing employs NATE certified AC experts that are in the position to provide the very best in emergency HVAC cooling services on a 24/7/365 basis.  Click here to contact us.