US Heat Wave: High temperatures combined with high humidity are likely to affect millions of Americans through the end of July

US Heat Wave: High temperatures combined with high humidity are likely to affect millions of Americans through the end of July
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More than 80 million Americans from the West to New England were under heat advisories or advisories as of Friday morning.

“Record heat is expected in the northeastern US this weekend, while above-average (temperatures) persist in the south central US,” the Weather Prediction Center said. wrote Thursday.
The highest temperature recorded Thursday was in Death Valley, California, reaching 122 degrees Fahrenheit, according to preliminary data collected by the prediction center.
On Friday, highs will soar into the 100s across parts of the Southwest, Central Plains and Mississippi River Valley, the center of prediction. said. Temperatures will also hit the mid-90s Friday in parts of the Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
But the repressive humidity will push up the heat index, which the air feel like, even higher in some of these areas on Friday and over the weekend. That includes possible heat index values ​​of 105-110 degrees Friday afternoon in St. Louis and Kansas City, and similar numbers in the Northeast in two days, forecasters say. warned.

The city of Dallas recorded its first heat-related death of the year, a 66-year-old woman who had underlying health conditions, the county Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday.

In Arizona, Maricopa County officials reported that at least 29 people have died from heat-related issues since March, most of whom were outdoors. That compares with 16 deaths reported during the same period in 2021, the county public health department said. Dozens of other deaths in the county from heat-related causes are under investigation.

Dangerous temperatures have pushed state and local leaders to issue heat emergencies and offer resources to vulnerable residents. They are imploring residents to stay hydrated and limit time outdoors as much as possible.

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In Philadelphia, officials prolonged heat health emergency through Sunday, which means resources, including cooling centers, special team home visits and enhanced daytime outreach for the homeless, will remain available through the weekend.
And in Washington, DC, the mayor too announced a heat emergency effective through Monday morning as temperatures are expected to be 95 degrees or higher. Shelters and cooling centers have also opened to care for those in need, the mayor said.

The extreme heat in the US has also been reflected in the deadly condition in Europe, where records have been broken and the European Forest Fire Information System put 19 European countries on “extreme danger” alerts for wildfires.

gloomy weekend ahead

About 85% of the US population, or 273 million people, could see high temperatures above 90 degrees over the next week. And about 55 million people could see high temperatures of 100 degrees or more over the next seven days.

Heat index for Friday
As of Thursday morning, 60 daily high temperature records had been tied or broken in the US this week, and “more records are likely to be set over the next week,” the Climate Prediction Center said. wrote.

Heat index values ​​– the temperature that feels when heat is combined with humidity — could exceed 100 degrees in several states this weekend, particularly in the Midwest, Southeast and East Coast.

Saturday Heat Index Forecast
On Saturday, “sweltering temperatures grip the Midwest and Central Plains, with forecast high temperatures likely to exceed” 100 degrees, according to the weather prediction center. said.

On Sunday, the heat index could exceed 105 in parts of the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic on Sunday, the forecast center said.

Daytime temperatures could top 100 degrees across much of the Southwest through the weekend, with some areas topping 110 degrees, according to the center.

The south-central region can expect to see high temperatures in the triple digits every day between Sunday and Thursday, the forecast center noted.

“There is some good news in the mid-range (post-weekend) as an approaching cold front brings a brief injection of cooler temperatures across the Midwest and Northeast, but the core of intense heat shifts early toward South Central US and Pacific Northwest next week,” the forecast center wrote.

    An aerial view of people gathered near a homeless encampment Thursday afternoon in Phoenix, Arizona.

High temperatures also threaten livestock

As soaring temperatures continue to grip much of the country, officials are also grappling with protecting farmers and their livestock.

In Missouri, the governor declared a drought emergency in 53 of the state’s more than 100 counties to allow farmers to use water from state parks. Officials are also considering using the parks to grow hay to help feed the farmers’ animals.

The situation in Texas is so dire that ranchers are running out of water, forcing them to sell their cattle at a rate not seen in more than a decade, according to David Anderson, a livestock economist at Texas A&M University.

The hot, dry conditions are essentially causing grass to die, severely reducing the pastures on which cattle graze, leaving many ranchers with no choice but to slaughter cattle they cannot feed.

“A lot of ranchers rely on ponds and tanks that capture rain,” Anderson said. “I heard a lot of stories about ranchers who ran out of water.”

CNN’s Andy Rose, Judson Jones, Paradise Afshar, Dakin Andone, Amir Vera and Amanda Musa contributed to this report.

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