Get Ready for a Hot Week, America

Hundreds of temperature records may fall this week as a heat wave sweeps the nation
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2024 7:49 AM CDT
Hundreds of Heat Records May Fall This Week
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/JJ Gouin)

Summer is still officially a few days away, but this week is going to be a hot one across much of America, with temperatures more akin to those seen deep in July or August. "Hundreds" of temperature records may be surpassed over the next few days, with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center noting that sections of the Northeast and Midwest could experience the longest heat wave they've seen in decades, reports CNN. Many of those areas are now under heat warnings or watches, per the AP.

  • 270 million: That's how many people are set to go through temperatures of at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit, even as far north as Maine, thanks to a heat dome that's hovering over the eastern part of the nation.

  • At risk: "The hottest temperatures of the summer are set to impact much of the Midwest, Great Lakes, Northeast, and mid-Atlantic," per the NWS. Cities and surrounding areas that may be particularly hard hit with dangerous temps include Chicago, New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland, and St. Louis. For context, Boston is usually around 70 degrees at this time of year, per the New York Times.
  • Heat + humidity = misery: Heat indices, or apparent temperatures that signify how hot the human body feels when heat and humidity combine, could reach the triple digits in some cities. In parts of western New England and eastern New York state, that number could reach 107 degrees.
  • Forecast: The hottest days are set to be Wednesday and Thursday, though the days bookending that "will only be slightly less brutal," per CNN. On Monday, the heat index already hit 95 in Chicago, 101 in the Ohio city of Toledo, and 102 in Cincinnati.

  • Danger zone: The high temps aren't just uncomfortable—they can be dangerous, leading to illnesses ranging from annoying heat rash to heat exhaustion and heatstroke, the latter of which can be fatal.
  • What else is at stake: Axios details the economic blow that can result from excessive heat. The outlet also takes a look at why FEMA doesn't recognize heat waves as a federally declared major disaster like a hurricane or tornado, and what some are doing to try to change that.
  • Stay well: Many cities are opening cooling centers, and experts offer tips on staying chill, such as downing drinks with electrolytes, one meteorologist tells the Times. Other advice includes staying in shady areas or an AC-cooled environment as much as possible, as well as wearing light attire that can breathe, per NBC Washington.
  • Snow? Believe it or not, parts of Montana and Idaho are under a winter storm warning, with snow expected in the northern Rockies through Tuesday, per the AP. Higher sections of Glacier National Park could see up to 20 inches.
(More heat wave stories.)

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