Extremely dangerous heat wave will hit more than 200 million people across Midwest and East Coast

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Two-thirds of the United States is set to experience a “dangerous and widespread” heat wave this weekend.

Temperatures are expected to rise above 100 degrees in many parts of the midwest and the East Coast, affecting millions of people.

The heatwave could affect about 200 million people in major cities like New York, Washington and Boston in the East Coast, and the Midwest region too. Picture via Twitter

The National Weather service writes:

A large ridge of high pressure extending from the Central to Eastern U.S. will deliver a dangerous summer heat wave through the weekend. Widespread excessive heat warnings and heat advisories already cover the Eastern two-thirds of the country. A number of record highs and overnight warm minimum temperatures are likely. Heat indices will surge past 100 degrees and approach the 110s.

The weather service has issued heat advisories and excessive heat warnings — meaning the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be at least 100 or 105 degrees, respectively, for at least two days, with night temperatures remaining above 75 degrees — throughout much of Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska and Kansas.

This other map is really impressive too:

There are also heat advisories for eastern parts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware and New Jersey, with an excessive heat warning in the Philadelphia area.

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US heat wave Midwest and East coast: Widespread excessive heat warnings and heat advisories already cover the Eastern two-thirds of the country. Map via weather.gov

July is the warmest month of the year globally,” Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State, tweeted on Monday. “If this July turns out to be the warmest July (it has a good shot at it), it will be the warmest month we have measured on Earth!

Extreme heat causes more fatalities than any other weather hazard in the country, including hurricanes and tornadoes, according to U.S. Natural Hazard Statistics.

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Weather fatalities in the USA. Map by NOAA

And scientists have warned that incidents of extreme heat are likely to occur even more frequently and for longer periods of time in the near future.

In preparation for this weekend, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York City are operating cooling centers as they expect “extremely dangerous heat.”

Officials are encouraging people to stay in an air-conditioned place, remain hydrated, check on neighbors who might be especially vulnerable to heat and be careful about strenuous outdoor activities.

[BBC, Time]

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