Communities from the golden state to the sunshine state are going to feel the burn today, as a heat wave is currently sweeping throughout the lower half of the United States.
“In addition to the oppressive heat during the day, overnight lows will remain abnormally warm, bringing little relief from the heat overnight,” the National Weather Service (NWS) warned in today’s alert. “Numerous near record-tying/breaking warm lows are expected.”
Over in the Southwest, communities are seeing sweltering heat too. Phoenix, Arizona is especially seeing consecutive high temperatures going into this weekend. Tucson, Arizona is expected to see temperatures as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 Celsius), according to the NWS. Sedona, Arizona is expected to experience temperatures as high as 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.8 Celsius). The ongoing heat throughout the state could break a record.
“Phoenix has seen 3 (consecutive) days with 90+ °F low temperatures so far this year. The longest stretch of consecutive 90+ °F lows is 7 days,” the Phoenix NWS station tweeted this morning. “If the forecast holds, we will have the potential to break this record.”
Texas has not been spared either. Thanks to a combination of heat and humidity, Houston could see a heat index as high as 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 Celsius) today, according to the city’s NWS station. The city of Austin could see temperatures up to 107 degrees Fahrenheit (41.6 Celsius) this afternoon, according to the NWS. San Antonio could see highs of about 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 Celsius).
“The entire area remains under either an Excessive Heat Warning or Heat Advisory today. Additional heat headlines will be likely to continue into next week,” the Austin/San Antonio NWS station tweeted this morning.
Southern Florida is sweltering too. The area’s high humidity is going to make today’s temperature feel higher than usual. “At 6:30am, the current temperature at Miami International Airport is at 86°F with a feels-like temperature of 97°F,” the Miami NWS station tweeted.
And yes, states across the southern parts of the U.S. are supposed to be hot, especially during the summer months. But a heat alert or heat warning is issued when temperatures are higher than average, which puts more stress on the communities living through a heat wave. This also puts more stress on cooling infrastructure and on emergency services if people become sick. And as the climate change increases average temperatures, the U.S. can expect more, and longer lasting heat waves.
The high temperatures are expected to persist into this weekend and possibly into next week, according to the NWS. The lack of respite could be dangerous for at-risk communities.
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