Plain and simple, this week may feel the worst of any week for this summer. The I-95 Northeast region will be a virtual sauna bath.
High daytime and nighttime temperatures, high humidity, intense sunshine and lack of wind will make the area seem like the middle of the tropics.
The pattern will pose health risks ranging from poor air quality to a dangerous buildup of heat in urban areas to risk of heat stroke for those physically very active.
Actual high temperatures in many of the major cities will reach well into the 90s through at least Friday.
According to Paul Pastelok, head of the AccuWeather.com Long Range Team, "The extreme part of the heat is not forecast to ease until over the coming weekend into next week, when thunderstorms may return to many areas."
But, even then highs are likely to be at or above 90 degrees.
Although actual temperatures will stop short of record levels, when combined with the humidity and other factors, AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures will surge past 100 degrees during the afternoon hours.
The table below shows high temperatures forecast through Friday for selected cities:
RealFeel temperatures can run 10 to 15 degrees higher during several hours each day. A heat wave in the Northeast is defined as three or more consecutive days with high temperatures of 90 degrees or greater.
A lack of a breeze in the humid conditions at night will make it very rough in urban areas without air conditioning or a fan.
The light winds, high humidity and heat will lead to a build-up of pollutants. Folks with respiratory problems are advised to remain in an air-conditioned environment and avoid strenuous activity.
This is the type of heat that can kill, especially the elderly and those physically overdoing it at any age.
Be sure to look after your pets. Do not leave kids or pets unattended in the car for any length of time.
With the return of thunderstorms toward the weekend on the coast, there will be a risk of severe weather and perhaps a return of the "atmosphere with an attitude" and tropical rainforest downpours.
"It appears the pattern of frequent showers and thunderstorms will return to the East Coast and Appalachians late in July and much of August," Pastelok said.
With temperatures and humidity as high as they are, widely separated thunderstorms can drench a few communities over the Appalachians during the week. Most of these storms would occur between 3:00 and 9:00 p.m.
Beat the heat by heading to the pool, beach or an air conditioning location for a few hours to give your body a break. (Surf temperatures range from the upper 60s to near 80 degrees.)
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Wear light-weight, light-colored clothing.
If you must work outdoors, take frequent breaks and try to do the most physical part of the job during the morning or evening, when the RealFeel temperatures are not as extreme.