US East Coast Heatwave Extends to West, Bringing Dangerous Temperatures

Asma Ahmed - | World

Over 100 million people across the United States found themselves under heat warnings on Sunday as a sprawling heat dome extended its grip from the East Coast to the West Coast, bringing record-breaking temperatures to cities on the eastern seaboard.

Extent of Heat Warnings

Baltimore and Philadelphia were particularly affected, with forecasts nearing 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). Meanwhile, states like Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming experienced temperatures soaring into the 90s F, up to 15 degrees above normal for this time of year. The National Weather Service (NWS) anticipates that the extreme heat will shift towards Nebraska and Kansas by Monday.

The Philadelphia region, in particular, faces hazardous conditions exacerbated by high humidity, potentially pushing heat indices above 105 F (41 C), making it feel even hotter than the recorded temperature.

According to NWS meteorologist Marc Chenard, this pattern of excessive heat is expected to persist across large parts of the country into July, though not continuously in any one location. Temperatures have moderated somewhat in the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes, and New England regions, but significant heat in the 90s F remains entrenched from Virginia to New York.

Researchers attribute these recurring heatwaves to climate change, which is increasingly influencing weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere. Such extreme weather events are projected to continue for decades, posing ongoing challenges to public health and infrastructure resilience.

In addition to the United States, extreme heat has also been responsible for fatalities in Asia and Europe, with reports indicating hundreds of deaths linked to oppressive temperatures. The impact has been felt globally, including during the Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, where soaring temperatures have claimed over 1,000 lives this year alone.

Meanwhile, in New Mexico, authorities are managing multiple weather-related emergencies, including dust storms, flooding, and wildfires. The Biden administration recently declared a state of emergency due to wildfires that have resulted in two fatalities and the destruction of over 1,400 structures. The FBI has offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the fires, which have scorched approximately 25,000 acres around Ruidoso.

While some states grapple with excessive heat, others are confronting flooding issues. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for 21 counties affected by heavy rains and subsequent flooding in the northwest part of the state. Local authorities in Rock Valley mobilized the National Guard to assist with evacuations, underscoring the widespread impact of weather-related disasters across the country.

Regional Flood Advisories

Southern Minnesota and southeastern South Dakota remain under flood advisories as communities prepare for potential inundations.

This comprehensive overview highlights the widespread impact of weather extremes across the United States, underscoring the urgent need for climate resilience and emergency preparedness nationwide.

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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
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