Temperatures will be dangerously high today and tomorrow for metro Detroiters. In addition, the air will be unhealthy to breathe for sensitive individuals today, which is an ozone action day. Both sets of weather conditions call for people to remain indoors and limit their activity today.
This morning, the National Weather Service office for Detroit and Pontiac issued a heat advisory for southeast Michigan that will last until 9 P.M. Saturday. The counties affected are Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Wayne, Lenawee, and Monroe. These counties are experiencing high temperatures in the low to mid 90s today and are forecast to have only slightly cooler temperatures tomorrow. It feels even hotter this afternoon, as the Heat Index ranges from the mid 90s to near 100 by the Ohio border.
The National Weather service warns that heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and dehydration are possible. Furthermore, four consecutive days of above 90 degree temperatures will add to the heat stress of people sensitive to the high temperatures. To prevent these conditions, drink plenty of fluids, remain out of the sun, and stay in an air-conditioned room. Also, check on your relatives, neighbors, and pets. Children and pets should never be left unattended in cars and trucks.
Also this morning, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality declared an air quality alert for today. The counties affected include St. Clair, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Wayne, and Monroe. The DEQ also issued an air quality alert for Allegan, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa, and Van Buren counties on the west side of the state. Pollutants, especially ozone, are at levels that are unhealthy for sensitive individuals, such as those with respiratory conditions such as asthma, in both areas.
People, including those with respiratory conditions and active adults and children, are urged to limit prolonged outdoor exertion today. In addition, people and businesses are urged to avoid activities that lead to ozone formation. Such activities include refueling vehicles and topping off while refueling, using gasoline-powered lawn vehicles, and using charcoal lighter fluid. People can also reduce emissions by car pooling, delaying or combining errands, and using water-based instead of oil-based paints.
The high heat yesterday resulted in 12,000 people in metro Detroit losing power as WXYZ reported. Residents throughout the metro Detroit area had no electricity, including residents of Farmington Hills, Royal Oak, and Ann Arbor.
Southeast Michigan is not alone in suffering under high temperatures. The National Weather Service has issued heat advisories and excessive heat warnings over most of the middle of the country, extending from Detroit east to western Pennsylvania, south to central Albama, southwest to northern Texas, and west to Kansas. An additional band of heat advisories, excessive heat warnings, and excessive heat watches has been declared along the eastern seaboard from Georgia to Connecticut.
Much of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan is also suffering from a drought. As WXYZ reported, there has been a cumulative deficit of 4.4 inches of precipitation during the past three months. The drought is expected to continue throughout the summer, as will the high temperatures.
Try to beat the heat, everyone!