More than 100 million people were under various heat warnings in more than two dozen states from the American West to New England on Thursday, a suffocation that experts believe will become increasingly common due to the effects of climate change.
Areas most at risk for dangerously hot temperatures include the Southwest, Central and South-Central America, and the coastal Mid-Atlantic region and Northeast, the weather service noted.
The distressing heat wave has pushed state and local leaders to declare heat emergencies and provide residents with resources to combat the high temperatures.
Philadelphia declared a heat health emergency on Thursday due to the expected oppressive heat, requiring special field teams to implement emergency plans, make home visits and outreach to people experiencing homelessness, the health department said in a news release.
Similarly, in New York, residents are encouraged to stay indoors in the coming days as heat continues to sweep across the state to avoid “dangerous conditions that could lead to heat stress and illness,” according to the state’s Homeland Commissioner Jackie Bray. Defense and Emergency Services Division.
Temperatures in New York City, Philadelphia and Boston are expected to top 90 degrees by the end of the week — if at all.
Meanwhile, California, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee will be hit by triple-digit heat on Thursday — meaning 1 in 5 Americans will endure dangerous conditions after already topping a historic week. heat records, CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford said.
The heat is expected to last through the weekend in many places, and more than 85% of the population — or 275 million Americans — could see high temperatures above 90 degrees over the next week. More than 60 million people could see high temperatures of 100 degrees or higher over the next seven days.
Large swathes of the South, including parts of eastern Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama, and coastal areas of the Midwest from South Carolina to New Jersey (seen in dark orange on these maps) from Thursday’s heat.
That danger is evident in parts of the Midwest this weekend, in parts of southern Illinois, Missouri and Iowa, before returning to the East Coast on Sunday.
Forecast heat index values indicate that the rest of the United States should be on high alert.
Several states hit triple-digit heat records
Triple-digit records were set Tuesday and Wednesday in several locations across Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma, where Tulsa EMS has responded to 250 heat-related emergency calls so far this year.
“We expect those numbers to be in mid-to-late August,” Emergency Medical Services Commission spokesman Adam Baluka said Wednesday. “So we’re four to six weeks ahead of where we normally see call numbers in the mid-200s.”
“It’s very concerning,” he added, “especially with the volume of patients being transported, some of those calls indicating heat stroke, which can be fatal.”
In Abilene, Texas, the temperature reached 110 degrees on Wednesday, breaking the 1936 record for that date. Another record of 104 degrees was set in San Antonio, Texas, surpassing the previous record of 101 degrees experienced in 1996.
As of Tuesday, the Austin area had reached at least 100 degrees on 38 of the last 44 days, the weather service said.
“We’re asking people to conserve power so systems can continue to operate,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said Wednesday. “We’re asking everyone to do this so we can get through this together.”
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which runs 90% of Texas’ power grid, set another record for power demand Wednesday — beating the record set a day earlier.
Also, Wednesday’s high of 103 degrees in Fayetteville, Arkansas topped the high of 102 degrees seen on that date in 2012.
Another Arkansas city, Mountain Home, saw a high of 107 degrees Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
Meanwhile, some local authorities have taken steps to hire chief heat officers in response to the extreme heat.
Miami-Dade County Chief Heat Officer Jane Gilbert told CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday that Miami now has nearly twice as many days with heat index — what a wind. feels More than in the 1970s — more than 90 degrees.
“It’s not just about people’s health, it’s about their pocket books. Our outdoor workers can’t work long hours, they’re losing work hours. People can’t afford these ACs, high electricity costs. It’s a health and economic crisis.”
David Hondula, director of the Office of Heat Response and Mitigation for Phoenix, echoed that sentiment, saying, “Heat can affect everyone, and we’re all at risk.”
According to Kimberly McMahon, General Weather Service program manager for the National Weather Service, extreme temperatures are one of the leading weather-related causes of death in the United States.
CNN’s Jason Hanna, Christina Maxouris, Mike Saenz, Dave Alsup, Robert Shackelford and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.
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