American heat wave: Dangerously high temperatures will last through the weekend with millions of Americans experiencing three-digit heat

American heat wave: Dangerously high temperatures will last through the weekend with millions of Americans experiencing three-digit heat

More than 100 million people are under various heat warnings Thursday in more than two dozen states from parts of the American West to New England, a suffocating cocoon that experts believe will become increasingly common due to the effects of climate change.

“Widespread high temperatures in the mid to upper 90s and low 100s will cover a majority of the country on Thursday and Friday,” the National Weather Service warned Wednesday.

The areas with the highest risk of dangerously hot temperatures span the southwestern, central and south-central United States along with the coastal Mid-Atlantic region and northeast, the weather service noted.

The disturbing heat wave has forced state and local leaders to issue heat crises and offer resources to residents to curb high temperatures.

Parts of the United States bake at three-digit temperatures with no drop in sight

Philadelphia declared a Heat Health Emergency for Thursday because of the expected oppressive heat, activating emergency programs like special field teams conducting home visits and seeking out people experiencing homelessness, the health department said in a press release.

Similarly, in New York, residents are encouraged to stay indoors for the next few days as the heat continues to push over the state to avoid “dangerous conditions that can lead to heat stress and illness,” according to Jackie Bray, the state’s commissioner. department for security and emergency services.

Temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit are expected to remain in New York City, Philadelphia and Boston over the weekend – if not longer.

Meanwhile, triple-digit heat will continue to bake parts of California, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee on Thursday – meaning 1 in 5 Americans will endure dangerous conditions after what has already been a historic week in terms of topping heat records, said CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford.

The heat is expected to persist over the weekend in many places, and more than 85% of the population – or 275 million Americans – may see high temperatures above 90 degrees over the next week. More than 60 million people can see high temperatures at or above 100 degrees over the next seven days.

The excessive heat across the United States has been matched by deadly conditions in Europe, where records have been broken and the European forest fire information system put 19 European countries on “extreme danger” warning for forest fires.
A construction worker drinks water in temperatures that have reached well above triple digits in Palm Springs, California, on Wednesday.

Three-digit heat records across several states

Three-digit records were set Tuesday and Wednesday in several locations in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma, where the Tulsa EMS reported responding to nearly 250 heat-related emergency calls so far this year.

“These numbers are what we expect to see in mid to late August,” said Adam Paluka, spokesman for the Emergency Medical Services Authority, on Wednesday. “So we’re four to six weeks ahead where we would normally see the mid-200 call numbers.”

“It’s very worrying,” he added, “especially because the number of patients being transported indicates that some of these calls are heatstroke, which can be fatal.”

In Abilene, Texas, temperatures reached 110 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday, breaking a 1936 record on that date. Another record of 104 degrees was set in San Antonio, Texas, surpassing the 101 degrees last experienced in 1996.

And as of Tuesday, the Austin area had 100 degrees in 38 of the last 44 days, according to the weather service.

“We ask people to save power so that the systems continue to work,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said Wednesday. “We ask everyone to do it so we can get through this together.”

Here are some American cities that set records on Tuesday when temperatures rose to as high as 115 degrees

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates about 90% of Texas’ power grid, said it set another record on Wednesday for electricity demand – surpassing a record set the day before.

Wednesday, a record 103 degrees in Fayetteville, Arkansas, topped the 102 degrees seen on that date in 2012.

Another city in Arkansas, Mountain Home, saw 107 degrees Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

“This would shatter the old record high of 102 degrees for this date set back in 2012. Official record reports will not be sent out until midnight, but it appears to be a new record high.” wrote the weather service Wednesday evening.

Confront the heat

To help residents survive the heat, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced that at least 12 community centers will be open to anyone who wants to cool off. In addition, more than 50 spray cushions will be available in city parks and playgrounds, she said, when she declared an emergency with heat until Thursday.

Meanwhile, some local officials have taken the step of hiring heating managers to help navigate the response to the extreme heat.

Extreme heat is bad for everyone's health - and it's getting worse

Jane Gilbert, heat manager for Miami-Dade County, told CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday that Miami now has almost twice as many days with a heat index – what the air is. feels which – over 90 degrees than it did in the 1970s.

“It’s not just about people’s health, but also their wallets. Our outdoor workers can not work that long, they lose working hours. People can not afford this AC, the higher the cost of electricity. It is both a health crisis and an economic crisis.”

David Hondula, director of the Office of Heat Response and Mitigation for Phoenix, reiterated this sentiment, saying “The heat can affect everyone, we are all in danger.”

High temperatures are one of the leading causes of death in the United States, according to Kimberly McMahon, National Weather Service’s Public Weather Service Program Manager.

CNN’s Jason Hanna, Christina Maxouris, Mike Saenz, Dave Alsup, Robert Shackelford and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.

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