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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Students who walked through the sweltering heat on their way to class this semester can expect temperatures to dip back below normal by the end of the week.

The decrease in temperatures should mark the end of a heat wave that has affected much of the U.S. since late June, experts say.

Zaaron Allen, a lead forecaster with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, said a slow-moving, strong ridge of high atmospheric pressure caused the heat wave.

The ridge’s lack of movement caused heat to build from sinking air.

Even though temperatures in Gainesville did rise during the heat wave, Allen said, the city didn’t see a dramatic spike in temperatures.

“Gainesville is at the very periphery of the conditions,” Allen said. “The humidity hasn’t been as bad as further north.”

In Gainesville, the average high this month is currently 94 degrees, about two degrees above normal, Allen said.

The heat index for Gainesville peaked at 105 degrees, three degrees shy of issuing a heat warning.

Allen said that temperatures and weather are forecasted to return to a normal summer pattern by next week.

“The ridge of high pressure is weakening, so the heat is decreasing,” he said.

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