Heat advisory issued for much of Michigan as temperatures exceed 90 degrees

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for much of Michigan through Saturday evening with warnings of potential storms Sunday.

High temperatures are expected to exceed 90 degrees, pushing heat indices to nearly 100 degrees this afternoon into early this evening, the weather service said.

"We're currently ranging in Metro Detroit between the upper 90s to 100 degrees," said Ian Lee, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in White Lake Township, on Saturday afternoon.

William Fluellen of Detroit waits for a bus along Grand River Avenue near Lathrop Street as he copes with the warm temperatures and humidity on Saturday, August 28, 2021.

Still, it's not reaching record territory. The hottest in August was 104 degrees back in 1918, and the all-time record hit 105 degrees at the airport in 1934.

"These temps can easily happen from July to early to mid-September, that's why they call it the dogs of summer," Lee said.

The advisory, in effect from 2 to 8 p.m., is for southeast Michigan, including Detroit, Warren, Pontiac, Flint and Ann Arbor, and parts of central, south central, southwest and west central Michigan.

High temperatures and humidity may cause heat-related illnesses. The weather service is advising residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room and out of the sun, and check on relatives and neighbors.

There's a hot and humid airmass in place Saturday fueling chances for showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday. Wind gusts up to 60 mph and locally heavy rainfall are possible.

Storms could approach severe intensity Sunday afternoon and evening with damaging wind and flooding, according to the NWS.

The city of Detroit is expanding the use of four recreation centers, currently open for food distribution, to serve as cooling centers for residents effective immediately until the heat advisory is lifted.

Residents and staff are required to wear a face mask and observe social distancing. Staff will also conduct temperature checks. High-touch areas and restrooms will be disinfected every two hours, and maximum capacity limits at each site have been lowered. Personal protective equipment and bottled water will also be provided.

The following is a list of cooling centers open Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.:

  • Butzel Family Center, 7737 Kercheval
  • Farwell Recreation Center, 2711 E. Outer Drive
  • Lasky Recreation Center, 13200 Fenelon
  • Patton Recreation Center, 2301 Woodmere

The Detroit Public Library has six branch locations to offer relief from extreme temperatures.  All branches are open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. Capacity is limited to 50% and visitors are limited to two hours to slow the spread of COVID at:

  • Campbell Branch 8733 W. Vernor Highway
  • Edison Branch, 18400 Joy Road
  • Jefferson Branch, 12350 E. Outer Dr.
  • Parkman Branch, 1766 Oakman Blvd.
  • Redford Branch, 21200 W. Grand River Avenue
  • Wilder Branch, 7140 E. Seven Mile Road

Detroit's Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair said excessive heat tops the list of weather-related deaths in the United States and that young children, seniors and those with chronic medical conditions are especially vulnerable.

"The Detroit Health Department is working closely with Parks & Recreation Department to ensure all residents have a safe place to go to escape the extreme heat,” Fair said. “I encourage all Detroiters to do what they can to protect themselves, their family, neighbors and pets from the heat.”

The weather service also warns of elevated ozone levels in St. Clair, Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Wayne and Monroe counties. 

"It is recommended that active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease such as asthma, limit prolonged outdoor exertion," the NWS stated.

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments has declared Sunday an Ozone Action Day because high ozone concentrations that affect air quality are expected to result from the continued heat, humidity and sunshine.

The council is suggesting residents:

► Delay mowing their lawn until evening or the next day to cut down from exhaust from garden equipment.

► Drive less, telecommute, bike, or walk to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, as well as save money.

► Avoid refueling vehicles during daylight hours to reduce fumes at the gas pump that contribute to ozone formation.

► Delay or combine errands to lower traffic congestion and air pollution.

► Reduce electricity use by setting thermostats a few degrees higher and turning off lights, computers, and other electrical devices when not in use.

Extended forecast

Sunday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m. Mostly sunny, with a high near 91 degrees. Wind gusts as high as 22 mph. The chance of precipitation is 50%.

Monday: A chance of showers before 8 a.m. Partly sunny, with a high near 86 degrees. West northwest wind 6 to 9 mph. The chance of precipitation is 30%.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 82.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 82.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 81.

Source: The National Weather Service