Temperatures soared to the upper 80s and lower 90s again Thursday – tying a record high in Muscle Shoals with 94ºF – under the ‘ridge;’ stormy weather continues on the northern and western perimeter of that ridge tonight, Friday and this weekend.
Friday through Memorial Day: More of the same: it stays hot, it stays humid, and it stays mostly sunny with some haze and clouds passing through now and then.
The 10% chance of isolated showers (or a brief storm) is only there because it gets just hot and just humid enough to spark a downpour or two. There will be no widespread rain through the first big holiday weekend of the summer season; for most of us, there will be exactly zero rainfall through Monday.
It stays hotter than normal for late May: highs 92ºF to 96ºF with a heat index as hot as 97ºF and 100ºF during the hottest part of the day. On lakes and rivers around the region this weekend, the wind won’t be a huge factor: generally west-southwest around 5 to 15 miles per hour with an occasional gust as high as 20 miles per hour.
But what does that heat mean for the actual surfaces we (and our dogs) walk upon?
It means they’re blazing hot. Hot enough to burn you in as little as one minute.
Sunrise Asphalt from Tuscon, Arizona says this about asphalt temperatures:
‘Your feet aren’t the only ones at danger in the summer heat. If you have a furry family friend you need to be aware of how the ground heat of asphalt can harm them as well. To test, place the back of your hand to the asphalt for seven seconds. If it is too hot for you to stand, it is certainly too hot for your dog’s paws. At 125 degrees the skin of your pup’s paws can be damaged in 60 seconds. Remember, that’s the temperature of the asphalt, that means if the air temperature is as cool as 77 degrees it can still be too hot for Fido.’
There can be a huge difference from shaded concrete to asphalt in full sun; I went out to check the temperatures with a hand-held, infrared thermometer Thursday afternoon at 3 PM. The air temperature in Downtown Huntsville was 92ºF. The shaded sidewalk was cooler than the air, but the sunny asphalt was dangerously hot to exposed feet or paws!
It was right about a 40ºF jump from the air temp to the pavement temp in the sun; it can be higher! That rule of thumb, remember, is that 125ºF can burn you or your pet in 60 seconds.
Here’s what the highs and highest asphalt temperatures look like for the next week: