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Weather Works: What a heat wave is and how it forms

Even though we're feeling the heat in Central Georgia, we can't always call it a heat wave. Meteorologist Taylor Stephenson explains.

MACON, Ga. — Someone must have turned on the heat in Central Georgia because the days are steadily getting hotter and hotter!

Sporadic days where the temperatures are well-above average does not mean we are experiencing a heat wave. According to the National Weather Service, a heat wave is a period of abnormally hot weather that lasts more than two days.

The reason why we see heat waves has to do with the weather patterns in the upper levels of the atmosphere.

When a high pressure system parks itself over a region of the country, the air underneath it sinks. As the air sinks, it warms and creates a hot environment for everyone underneath the high pressure.

In Georgia, for a heat advisory to be issued, high temperatures must reach 104 degrees or the heat index has to climb above 105.

An excessive heat warning is the highest tier of a heat threat. For an excessive heat warning to be issued, high temperatures need to be at 105 degrees or hotter or have a heat index of at least 110.

As we crank up the heat this summer, just remember to take care of your body by staying hydrated and chilling inside during the heat of the day.

That's how your weather works! If you have a question about weather phenomena that our weather team can answer, send an email to news@13wmaz.com


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