This Heatwave is So Hot, The National Weather Service Baked Biscuits Inside a Car

A heatwave is gripping much of the nation, with temperatures expected to hit triple digits in many states by the weekend. And while we've heard of it being so hot you can fry an egg on the sidewalk, someone is taking things a step further: Staff at the National Weather Service's Omaha office were able to bake biscuits in the backseat of a car on Thursday.

The outdoor temperature in Omaha yesterday was only 99 degrees, but it was a lot hotter inside the automobile—hot enough that a sheet of biscuit dough hit 175.2 degrees Fahrenheit after only an hour.

national weather service biscuits
Biscuits bake in the back of a car in Omaha; after eight hours, they were mostly edible. National Weather Service Omaha

After four hours in the car, the tops of the biscuits were golden.

And after eight hours, Weather Service staff declared the outsides of the biscuits were edible, though the middles were "still pretty doughy."

And after nearly 8 hours in the sun, the outside of the biscuit is actually edible. The middle is still pretty doughy though. The max temp on the pan was 185! Also we made festive biscuit hats 😂 Stay cool out there. #HeatSafety #LookBeforeYouLock

— NWS Omaha (@NWSOmaha) July 18, 2019

Meteorologists expect much of the Canada and the U.S.—from Chicago to Boston—to reach the triple-digits this weekend, with record-breaking temperatures in some regions.

Dozens of cities have already declared heat emergencies.

"It's been since July of 2012 that Chicago and Philadelphia both hit 100 degrees, and Washington, D.C., hasn't hit 100 since August of 2016," AccuWeather Meteorologist Danielle Knittle said. "Almost everyone east of the Rockies is going to be sweltering in the dangerous heat in the coming days."

Heat emergencies have been declared in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Boston. Cooling centers, air-conditioned spaces where people can get away from the heat and rehydrate themselves with bottled water, are also being organized: New York City is activating approximately 500 cooling centers.

"Extreme heat is dangerous, period," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. "I urge all New Yorkers to exercise caution this weekend as temperatures near 100. Look out for your neighbors, friends and family and call 311 to find a cooling center. We are deploying all resources at our disposal to ensure New Yorkers remain safe and cool during extreme heat."

Staying in an air-conditioned place is the best way to keep cool during a heatwave, but there are steps those without air conditioners can take, too—like going somewhere with AC, like a mall or a movie theater.

woman cools off
A woman cools down in a waterfall at Yards Park in Washington, D.C., July 19, 2019. Washington, D.C. is expected to reach 100 degrees for the first time since 2016. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

It's also important to stay hydrated: always have cold water on hand, enjoy cold fruit and foods like popsicles that contain a lot of water, and avoid alcohol, coffee, tea and salty food which can have a dehydrating effect.

Stay in the shade as much as possible, and wear a large hat or carry a parasol. Wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing can help, too; the looseness allows air to circulate around the body, and light colors reflect sunlight.

Pet owners need to take special precautions, too: Keep water bowls full and be careful about making pets walk on hot concrete. And never leave a pet in a car, not even with the window open.