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In the summer’s heart, it is not unusual to experience temperatures that exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit. When those temperatures come with high levels of humidity, it can make a Michigan heat wave feel even more unbearable. Heat waves can be dangerous, but understanding what heat waves are will make it easier to stay safe this summer.

A heat wave forms when high pressure air settles at higher elevations, and that high pressure forces hot air to sink down. That sinking hot air then creates a bubble, acting as a seal to trap heat near the ground. Because of that seal, rain clouds and other clouds cannot form, and thus cannot help cool the area. These heat waves can last for days, or even weeks.

Technically, for it to be considered a heat wave, the temperatures need to be outside the historical averages for an area. For example, days in the high-90s in Michigan can be considered a heat wave, but a couple 95 degree days in Death Valley is not remarkable. 

Weather can be tricky to predict, but the national weather services have a great understanding of when and how heat waves can appear. These predictions can come about three to seven days in advance when a potential exists for excessive heat, leaving enough time to prepare for an event. Action should be taken once an excessive heat warning is reached, which means extremely dangerous heat conditions are less than 12 hours away.

Heat waves are still considered natural disasters, even without heavy rains or high winds. The combination of high temperatures and lack of rain make ideal conditions for droughts or wildfires. Plants that need higher levels of water or more shade could die during a heat wave, and wildlife will struggle to keep cool or find adequate water.

For humans, we can experience some pretty bad effects from heat waves, including dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. You may feel more exhausted during a heat wave, might experience muscle cramps, or even feel nauseated or dizzy. 

When a heat wave is expected to hit in your area, make sure you and your family spend the time leading up to it to better prepare yourselves and your home. For more information on surviving the Michigan heat waves, call Sharon’s Heating and Air Conditioning today at (734) 425-1415. Our staff is ready to answer all questions you may have.

Call the professionals at Sharon’s Heating and Air Conditioning at (734) 425-1415