September 22, 2023

A weekend of misery for millions in the US as record heat continues

Dozens of heat records could fall this weekend as an already intense heat wave in the Southwest reaches its boiling point, with temperatures approaching 130 degrees Fahrenheit in some locations.

At least 93 million people in the United States will face heat warnings and advisories Friday, from the West Coast to South Florida. Conditions are expected to worsen over the weekend, with temperatures well into the triple digits expected in much of the country.

In its forecast discussion posted Friday morning, the National Weather Service warned that a “scorching heat wave will engulf much of the West Coast, Great Basin and Southwest.”

A heat dome parked over the southwest has been burning the region for more than two weeks, but temperatures are expected to rise towards the weekend.

On Saturday, parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, inland California and Texas will range from 105 to 115 F, while temperatures in desert locations across the region could exceed 120 F, according to the weather service.

Studies have shown that climate change is increasing the frequency, intensity and duration of extreme heat events.

In California’s Death Valley, temperatures are predicted to reach nearly 130 F, which would make it one of the hottest temperatures ever recorded on Earth.

Arizona is also bracing for record heat this weekend. Phoenix, which has already swelled at or above 110 F for 13 consecutive days, is expected to see temperatures climb as high as 118 F over the weekend. On Tuesday, the city is on the verge of tying the current 1974 record of 18 consecutive days at or above 110 F, and is expected to continue past the milestone.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas is predicted to hit 117 F on Sunday, which would tie the city’s record for hottest temperature.

Local officials urged people to take proper precautions to deal with the extreme heat, including staying hydrated, monitoring heat-sensitive friends and family, and avoiding outdoor activities, especially during the hottest parts of the day.

“This heat wave is NOT a typical desert heat due to its long duration, extreme daytime temperatures and warm nights. Everyone needs to take this heat seriously, including those who live in the desert,” said representatives from the weather service’s Las Vegas office. tweeted Thursday.

Hot and humid conditions will also envelop much of the South, stretching from Texas across the lower Mississippi Valley and into Florida. Heat index values ​​– which represent the “feels like” temperatures when humidity and air temperatures are combined — are expected to be well into the triple digits in these regions, with some parts of Texas and Louisiana experiencing heat index values ​​of up to 115 F.

The weather service added that “morning lows in the southern part of the U.S. will remain exceptionally warm, offering little relief to these affected regions.”

Meanwhile, most of southern Europe is also experiencing oppressively high heat and humidity.

Tourists cool off at a water fountain during their visit to the Parthenon temple in Athens, Greece (Angelos Tzortzinis / photo alliance via Getty Images)

Tourists cool off at a water fountain during their visit to the Parthenon temple in Athens, Greece (Angelos Tzortzinis / photo alliance via Getty Images)

Temperatures in the triple digits are forecast in parts of Spain, Italy and Greece, with heat expected to intensify into next week.

In Athens, where temperatures reached 104 F, Greek officials were forced to close the Acropolis between noon and 5 p.m., the hottest hours of the day, BBC News reported.

Dangerous heat waves are also gripping North Africa, China and Japan in what has already been a hot summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

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