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U.S. heat wave: 100 million under alerts from Phoenix to Boston

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U.S. heat wave: 100 million under alerts from Phoenix to Boston


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More than 100 million people in the next 48 states were on heat alerts Thursday, with temperatures soaring to 115 degrees in recent days.

About 60 million Americans in at least 16 states will experience triple-digit highs on Thursday; another six states could see mercury levels above the 90s.

Overheat warnings, or high temperature warnings, cover several areas, including California’s Central Valley; Las Vegas to Phoenix in the southwest; San Antonio to Birmingham, Alabama in the south; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, along the east coast to Boston.

In Texas and Oklahoma, many places are experiencing one of the hottest summers on record, with temperatures well above 100 degrees expected for the foreseeable future. Both states hit 115 degrees on Tuesday, and while Thursday’s relatively cool temperatures were still dangerous for vulnerable groups.

Major cities in the Northeast will experience near-95-degree heat on Thursday and will feel 5 to 10 degrees and suffocating humidity levels. High temperatures are expected to be more intense this weekend: Washington could hit 100 for the first time since 2016.

DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser has declared a heat emergency for the city through Monday.

The U.S. heatwave hit at least 60 records, peaking this week as historic, unusually high temperatures killed more than 1,000 people in Europe. Britain hit record highs on Tuesday as several stations exceeded 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time ever.

Unusually high temperatures in the UK have shattered records. This is what happened.

While summers are sure to be hot, the trend of increasingly severe and longer-lasting heat events carries the fingerprint of human-induced climate change.

The nation’s hottest weather on Thursday was concentrated in the Southwest. The National Weather Service warned that Las Vegas had a “high risk of heat-related illness”, with highs expected to exceed 110 degrees by Friday.

The Bureau of Meteorology also warned of “dangerous heat conditions” in Phoenix, with highs expected to reach 110 to 115 degrees. The city is also under pollution warnings due to high ground-level ozone levels.

High temperatures could reach 120 degrees in Death Valley, California, by Saturday.

Heat waves are getting hotter and more frequent. Here’s how to prepare.

Heat in Texas and Oklahoma

The sweltering heat in Texas and the Southern Plains has been unbearable this summer, with temperatures in San Antonio, Austin and Houston reaching their highest on record. There are few signs of relief.

Each of the 120 weather stations in Mesonet, Oklahoma, recorded highs of 103 degrees or above for the first time on Tuesday. Mesonet has been in operation since the mid-1990s, which means that recording time is limited. Regardless, the heat is boiling.

Oklahoma City surged to 100 degrees Wednesday, reaching the century mark for five straight days. When it hit 110 degrees on Tuesday, it was the second time since 2012. High temperatures are expected to stay in the low 90s or 100s next week, at least.

On Tuesday, temperatures jumped to 115 degrees in Mangham, Oklahoma, and Wichita Falls, Texas. Although unbearably hot, these temperatures were still below the 120-degree reading on August 12, 1936, in Altus, southwest Oklahoma. This is the highest temperature ever recorded.

There are about a dozen small wildfires in Oklahoma’s Red River Valley and north-central Texas, with the largest in Somerville County southwest of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolis. The Chalk Hill Fire has burned 6,339 acres since it ignited around 2:30 p.m. Monday. It only contains 10%.

Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Tulsa will remain at 100 degrees or above for at least next week, while areas further south and east — Houston, Little Rock or Shreveport, Louisiana — will remain at 90 degree or more. Those slightly cooler temperatures will be offset by greater humidity blowing from the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in heat index values ​​in the range of 105 to 110 degrees.

Much of the state, from Louisiana and Arkansas to Georgia, is experiencing one of its 10 hottest summers, and temperatures will remain sweltering through early next week. Highs are expected to be in the 90s to 100s, but oppressive humidity levels create a feeling of 100s to 110s.

Birmingham, Alabama, was under a heat warning Thursday, with temperatures expected to peak around 95 degrees. Western Alabama may reach its highs in the 1990s. While the daytime high wasn’t particularly impressive from a record perspective, the overnight low was.

“Yesterday our low temperature was 79 degrees [Wednesday] “In the morning,” said Jason Holmes, a meteorologist at the Met Office in Birmingham. “A nighttime low temperature like this — it’s hard on your body because you’re not cooling down. “

How does high temperature affect the human body?

Heat in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

The mid-Atlantic and Northeast have largely avoided heat and humidity this summer, but that’s changing rapidly.

Temperatures are expected to hit the 90s from Richmond to Boston on Thursday, with heat index values ​​in the triple digits.

While humidity will ease on Friday after a weak cold front, the muggy weather will return over the weekend.

New York’s highs will hit the 90s on Saturday before soaring into the mid-to-high 90s on Sunday. Temperatures will remain in the 90s in Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia through Saturday, and near 100 on Sunday. Heat index values ​​can range from 105 to 110.

what causes heat

The source of the heat is a high-pressure ridge known as the “thermal dome,” which is centered to the southwest but sometimes curves eastward into the mid-Atlantic.

Beneath these thermal domes, the air sinks, clearing the clouds while letting the sun shine down relentlessly. On the thermal dome are jet streams that mark the southern periphery for cooler weather.

The science of thermal domes and how drought and climate change are making them worse

Over the weekend, the jet stream will slope toward the north central U.S. and the Great Lakes, bringing cool air to those regions. However, strong to severe thunderstorms could break out on Saturday as cooler air arrives.



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