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US Braces for Massive Week-Long Heat Wave: Over 265 Million People to Experience Sweltering Temperatures

heat wave
The US is facing a massive week-long heat wave

The US is facing a massive week-long heat wave, with over 265 million people experiencing sweltering temperatures. Learn about the heat alerts, expected record-breaking temperatures, and safety precautions as the Northeast and Midwest brace for potentially dangerous conditions.

As summer officially begins this Thursday, the United States is bracing for what could be a record heat wave, with weather experts warning that temperatures in large parts of the country are expected to reach dangerous levels. Many areas are more keenly preparing for sweltering conditions, especially the Northeast and Midwest, where a “heat dome” is settling over the region.

Heat Alerts for Millions

by Monday morning, the National Weather Service had issued heat alerts for over 75 million people. That number is likely to climb even higher because forecasts have pointed to 150 million people experiencing temperatures over 32°C and 9 million possibly reaching over 37.7°C.

Over the coming days, approximately 265 million Americans—nearly 82 percent of the US population—can expect to be hit with temperatures higher than 32 degrees Celsius before the arrival of summer’s first official day.

Northeast and Midwest Under Heat Dome

The Northeast is bracing itself for its hottest period in 30 years The meteorological winds speedometer will jump into New York City, specifically, with temperatures of 32.7°C on Wednesday, 34°C on Thursday, and 35°C on Friday. The city will open 500 cooling centers as temperatures are expected to reach triple figures, and the NWS is expected to declare a heat advisory.

“We think we will reach the peak of the heat on Thursday and Friday, and some parts of our heat index are going to feel like 99 degrees,” Mayor Eric Adams warned. “We want to be clear: June is extremely early for this type of heat, and New Yorkers should not underestimate the heat.”

Record-Breaking Temperatures Across Multiple States

The heat alerts issued on Monday cover 17 states. Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire were issued Excessive Heat Watches. Temperatures in Concord, New Hampshire, could top 38 degrees Celsius Wednesday—possibly breaking new daily record highs.

This may prove to be the most powerful heat wave of the 21st century for the Ohio Valley. Louisville, Kentucky has temperatures reaching 34°C on Wednesday, 36°C on Thursday, and 37°C on Friday. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is bracing itself for extreme heat that is forecast to lurk from 36°C on Tuesday and Wednesday to 36.6°C on Thursday and Friday.

Severe Heat Kills Hundreds in Southwestern States. 

The extreme temperatures will not spare the Southwest either. Excessive Heat Warnings were issued for parts of Arizona, especially Phoenix and Tucson, with temperatures reaching as high as 43°C by Sunday. Roswell in New Mexico and El Paso in Texas will reach as high as 40.5°C.

 Health and Safety Precautions

Authorities have urged people to take precautions to safeguard themselves from the heat wave; this may include staying indoors if possible, keeping hydrated, and checking on older neighbors and family members. “.please take precautions if you’re outside this week,” stressed the NWS Pittsburgh division, “and check on those that are most vulnerable.”.

The recent spike in heat-related health crises is alarming. There were 2,302 heat-related deaths prerecorded in the US in 2023, a 34% increase from 2022.

New Heat Records Expected

The NWS expects new heat records to be set in about 200 cities across the United States during this week-long heat wave. With the nation gearing up for these extreme conditions, be prepared and informed on how best to deal with the challenges ahead.