Some Meteorological, Climatological, and Microclimatological Considerations of the Severe U.S. Heat Wave of Mid-July 1995

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  • 1 Climate Prediction Center, NCEP/NWS/NOAA, Washington, D.C.
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Various aspects of the severe heat wave that affected the midwestern and eastern United States in mid-July 1995 and led to hundreds of heat-related deaths are examined. First, the event is placed in historical context through examination of relatively long records at several affected sites. Next, the origins of both the strong high pressure cell and the unusually large moisture content of the air mass are traced. This is followed by a brief summary that concludes with the suggestion that longer-term processes played minor roles at best in the event. Finally, microclimatic factors in the Chicago metropolitan area are considered for their role in exacerbating conditions in the city most severely affected by the heat wave.

*A version of this article comprised Chapter 1 of the Natural Disaster Survey Report, July 1995 Heat Wave (U.S. Department of Commerce 1996).

Corresponding author address: Dr. Robert E. Livezey, Climate Prediction Center, WP51, Room 604, NOAA Science Center, 5200 Auth Rd., Camp Springs, MD 20746. E-mail: LIVEZEY@SGI47.WWB.NOAA.GOV

Various aspects of the severe heat wave that affected the midwestern and eastern United States in mid-July 1995 and led to hundreds of heat-related deaths are examined. First, the event is placed in historical context through examination of relatively long records at several affected sites. Next, the origins of both the strong high pressure cell and the unusually large moisture content of the air mass are traced. This is followed by a brief summary that concludes with the suggestion that longer-term processes played minor roles at best in the event. Finally, microclimatic factors in the Chicago metropolitan area are considered for their role in exacerbating conditions in the city most severely affected by the heat wave.

*A version of this article comprised Chapter 1 of the Natural Disaster Survey Report, July 1995 Heat Wave (U.S. Department of Commerce 1996).

Corresponding author address: Dr. Robert E. Livezey, Climate Prediction Center, WP51, Room 604, NOAA Science Center, 5200 Auth Rd., Camp Springs, MD 20746. E-mail: LIVEZEY@SGI47.WWB.NOAA.GOV
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