U.S. Heat Wave: High Temperatures Combined with High Humidity Likely to Affect Millions of Americans Through the End of July

More than 80 million Americans from the West to New England were on heat warnings or advisories as of Friday morning.

“Record-breaking heat is expected across the Northeastern United States this weekend, while above-average (temperatures) persist across the South-Central United States,” the Weather Prediction Center said. wrote Thursday.
The highest temperature recorded on Thursday was in Death Valley, Calif., which reached 122 degrees Fahrenheit, according to preliminary data collected by the forecast center.
Highs will hit 100 in parts of the Southwest, Central Plains and Mississippi Valley on Friday, the forecast center said. Temperatures will also reach the mid-90s on Friday in parts of the Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
But repressive humidity will push the heat index – what the air feels like – even higher in some of these areas on Friday and throughout the weekend. That includes possible heat index readings of 105 to 110 degrees Friday afternoon in St. Louis and Kansas City, and similar numbers in the northeast in two days, forecasters warned.

The city of Dallas recorded its first heat-related death of the year, a 66-year-old woman who had underlying health conditions, county 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, the majority of whom were outdoors. It compares with 16 deaths reported during the same period in 2021, the county’s public health department said. Dozens of other deaths are being investigated in the county for heat-related causes.

The dangerous temperatures have prompted state and local leaders to issue thermal emergencies and offer resources to vulnerable residents. They implore residents to stay hydrated and limit time spent outdoors as much as possible.

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In Philadelphia, authorities have extended a heat-related health emergency through Sunday, which means resources such as cooling centers, home visits by special teams and increased daytime outreach to people without shelter will remain available throughout the weekend.
And in Washington, DC, the mayor also announced a heat emergency through Monday morning as temperatures are expected to be 95 degrees or higher. Shelters and cooling centers have also been opened to serve those in need, the mayor said.

The extreme heat in the United States was also reflected in deadly conditions in Europe, where records were broken and the European Forest Fire Information System put 19 European countries on ‘extreme danger’ alert. for forest fires.

Grim weekend ahead

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

Friday Heat Index
As of Thursday morning, 60 daily high temperature records had been tied or broken across the United States this week, with “more records expected to be set over the next week,” according to the Weather Prediction Center. wrote.

Heat index values ​​— the temperature felt when heat is combined with humidity — could exceed 100 degrees in a number of states this weekend, particularly in the Midwest, Southeast and East cost.

Saturday's Heat Index Forecast
On Saturday, “scorching temperatures are gripping the Midwest and Central Plains, with predicted high temperatures likely to exceed” 100 degrees, the weather forecasting center said.

On Sunday, the heat index could climb above 105 in parts of the northeast and mid-Atlantic on Sunday, the forecast center said.

Daytime temperatures could top 100 degrees across much of the southwest over the weekend, with some areas exceeding 110 degrees, the center said.

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

“There is good news in the medium term (after the weekend) as the approach of a cold front brings a brief injection of cooler temperatures in the Midwest and Northeast, but the heart of intense heat moves into the south-central United States and the Pacific Northwest early next week,” the prediction center wrote.

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

High temperatures also threaten livestock

As high temperatures continue to oppress much of the country, authorities 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 also plan to use the parks to grow hay to feed farmers’ animals.

The situation in Texas is so bad that ranchers are running out of water, forcing them to sell their livestock 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 essentially kill the grass, dramatically thinning the pastures where the cattle graze, leaving many ranchers with no choice but to send the cattle they can’t feed away. ‘slaughterhouse.

“A lot of ranchers rely on ponds and reservoirs that catch rainfall,” Anderson said. “I’ve heard a lot of stories about herders running 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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