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Tropical downpours precede the hottest weather in 7 years

TROPICAL DOWNPOURS

We needed the rain. Waves of showers and thunderstorms were activated Tuesday as we reached the peak heating of the day. The unstable air, aided by the remnants from what was Hurricane Barry brought about some welcome rain.

At times, the downpours have been blinding. Just after 5 p.m. the rain unloaded on our TV station on the northwest side while it was rain free in eastern Marion County. The northeast-bound showers and storms will continue to come in waves then thin and diminishing later this evening and overnight. Locally, a 1" rainfall is possible especially where downpours are repeat performers. The rain will not be evenly distributed with amounts ranging from very small to healthy 1" plus.

EXTREMELY HIGH HUMIDITY ON THE WAY

Dew points are now at south Florida levels and have a huge role in the downpours but when the rains end, the humidity will not break. We are about to embark on an extended stretch of very uncomfortable levels of heat and humidity.

The dew point, a measure of moisture in the atmosphere, has pushed into the middle 70s late Tuesday, levels that are as high as they get in central Indiana in the summer time. This level of humility restricts the night-time temperatures from cooling and brings on the uncomfortable heat indices in the afternoon. These levels will grow in the days ahead to seldom reached Central American or Amazon River Valley levels of the higher 70s to near 80° dew points by the weekend.

Combined with the highest temperatures since 2012, the heat index will reach triple-digits and remain unhealthy and unsafe until relief arrives early next week. In advance of the heat, several states are now under an Excessive Heat Watch and Warning. The watch has been expanded into southwest Indiana and may be required here in the next 24 hours.

The temperature reached 86-degrees in Indianapolis again Tuesday and extends the streak of days 86° or warmer to 21 days. This is the longest streak, this warm since 2012 - and it is about to get worse.

High temperatures are expected to reach the upper 90s Friday and Saturday, the first time since the blazing summer of 2012.

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