Heat Wave Torturing the U.S. Will Get Worse in Some States

Craig Hudson/Reuters
Craig Hudson/Reuters

The heat dome blighting huge swaths of the country isn’t going away yet, as the weekend shapes up to be another brutal scorcher.

Weather forecasts project temperatures as high as 108 degrees in Las Vegas and 104 in Phoenix, while the east coast is roasting as well. Baltimore and Philadelphia were forecast to hit 98 degrees, while reports showed that the heat index (which also includes the effect of humidity) climbed to triple digits in those areas.

The National Weather Service’s HeatRisk map showed extreme conditions in New York City and other pockets across the country, including portions of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and West Virginia.

The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene warned residents earlier this week to brace for the first heat wave of the season.

“High heat is a silent killer, posing a disproportionate threat to our most vulnerable residents,” officials wrote. They encouraged people to use air conditioning or, for those without that luxury, to find one of the city’s “Cool Options,” such as malls, libraries, or museums.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a press release on June 17 that she had “activated 50 National guard members to provide assistance as needed.”

Across the country, government agencies have also warned pet owners to keep their animals safe, while zoo officials have scrambled to provide shade, water, and ice to the animals in their care.

The Centers for Disease Control considers heat one of the most deadly weather phenomena in America, saying it kills more than 1,000 people per year. Since 1998, more than 900 have children have died after being left alone in hot cars, according to estimates cited by the National Weather Service.

“The early arrival of the heat in the summer season, persistence of heat over multiple days, and light winds and limited cloud cover will be aggravating factors in terms of overall heat stress,” the National Weather Service said.

Some parts of the country will begin to feel a reprieve by Sunday, while others will continue to endure high temperatures. According to The Washington Post, cities including Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Tulsa, Nashville, and Atlanta, will face extreme heat risk early this week.

Amy Chester, managing director of the nonprofit Rebuild by Design, told The New York Times that cities can help reduce the pain of soaring temperatures by planting more trees and investing in green space.

“All the ways we make our cities beautiful also have the added benefit of cooling our air during heat waves, cleaning our air, absorbing rainwater to reduce flooding, raising the value of our homes and providing better health and mental health outcomes,” she said.

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