The heat is on: Drivers: If you’re planning to head through the Southeast today, pack plenty of extra ice and water in your coolers! The heat will dangerously uncomfortable. Temperatures will reach the upper 90s to 100° in many spots from southern Florida to North Carolina. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued Heat Advisories for the Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, Tallahassee, Myrtle Beach and Wilmington metro areas where the heat index will hit of 105°-110°. It’s important to take your breaks inside air-conditioned spaces, especially if you have a heart or respiratory condition.
Pop-up storms almost coast to coast: More scattered showers and thunderstorms will pop up today and tonight from the Rockies to parts of the East Coast. There’s a chance for isolated strong/severe thunderstorms in spots from Idaho all the way to the mid-Atlantic, including Baltimore and Washington, D.C. A concentrated area of storms producing large hail, intense winds and/or flash flooding is possible between the I-90 and I-94 corridors through the Dakotas. This would affect drivers going through Casper, Rapid City, Aberdeen, Bismarck, Fargo and places in between. A few potent storms may also douse areas along the I-95 corridor from Miami to Virginia Beach.
Barbara becomes a beast: Hurricane Barbara got stronger overnight and now has sustained winds of 155 mph, a high-end Category 4 storm! This is as strong as Hurricane Michael at landfall in the Florida Panhandle last October. Thankfully, Barbara is nowhere close to land right now. The eye is 2,000 miles from Hilo, Hawaii and 1,200 miles from Cabo San Lucas. Hurricane-force winds (minimum 74 mph) extend up to 45 miles from the eye, and tropical storm-force winds (minimum 39 mph) extend up to 185 miles from the eye. Barbara is forecast to weaken over the next few days and move closer to Hawaii by early next week. Ocean freighters will have to keep steering clear.