More than 104 million people are subject to heat warnings and advisories across the United States on Thursday as dangerous heat continues to roast the Southwest, South Central and Eastern United States. States according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Why is this important: Extreme heat events are the number one weather-related killer in the United States and can significantly strain the electrical grid, resulting in power outages. Climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions is making heat waves more severe, more frequent and longer lasting.
- Much of Oklahoma and Texas are under a heat advisory after being under an excessive heat warning for the past two days.
- Parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and most of Alabama are under a heat advisory and an excessive heat warning. Heat index values will reach nearly 110° Fahrenheit in western Alabama.
- All of Mississippi is under a heat advisory and an excessive heat warning, with heat ratings should reach 110°F and temperatures in the mid to upper 90s.
South West :
- Western Arizona, southern Nevada and southeastern California are under an excessive heat warning through Friday. Temperatures in Phoenix are expected to reach 110-115°F through Friday, while highs in Vegas could reach 112°F on Thursday and 113°F.
- Heat advisories are in place from the eastern Carolinas to New England and daily highs will likely remain in the upper 90s and lower 100s from Richmond to Boston.
- Warm, humid air is expected to hold in place along the eastern seaboard before a cold front brings showers and storms to parts of the northeast and southeast.
Thought Bubble, via Andrew Freedman of Axios: Global warming from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, dramatically increases the chances of heat waves, their severity, and their longevity.
- What is happening now is not typical summer weather. Parts of the plains, for example, are experiencing their hottest summer on record so far, with temperatures well above average.
The big picture: The NWS said above normal temperatures are expected to continue across much of the United States through the end of the week.
- On Thursday, a large swath of the western, southern and northeastern United States experienced high low temperatures that climate change has made three to five times more likely to occur, according to the Climate Change Index from Climate Central.
- Abnormally high nighttime temperatures can increase the risk of heat-related hospitalizations and deaths, as prolonged periods of hot weather prevent people from cooling off from the daytime heat.
Go further: Heat wave kills more than 2,000 people in Spain and Portugal