Friday, July 19, 2024
HomeUSTorrid heat bakes millions of people in large swaths of US, setting...

Torrid heat bakes millions of people in large swaths of US, setting records and fanning wildfires

Ty Brown, with Cultivate Initiatives, puts ice over bottles of water as workers set up the Cook Plaza cooling center on Friday, July 5, 2024, in Gresham, Ore. A heat wave is spreading across Wester U.S., the national Weather Service said, sending many residents in search of a cool haven from the dangerously high temperatures. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
LAS VEGAS – Roughly 130 million people were under threat over the weekend and into next week from a long-running heat wave that broke or tied records with dangerously high temperatures and is expected to shatter more from East Coast to West Coast, forecasters said.
Ukiah, north of San Francisco, hit 117 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius) on Saturday, breaking the city’s record for the date and tying its all-time high. Livermore, east of San Francisco, hit 111 F (43.8 C), breaking the daily maximum temperature record of 109 F (42.7 C) set more than a century ago in 1905.
Recommended Videos
Las Vegas tied the record of 115 F (46 C), last reached in 2007, and Phoenix topped out at 114 F (45.5 C), just shy of the record of 116 F (46.7 C) dating to 1942.
The National Weather Service said it was extending the excessive heat warning for much of the Southwest through Friday.
“A dangerous and historic heatwave is just getting started across the area, with temperatures expected to peak during the Sunday-Wednesday timeframe,” the National Weather Service in Las Vegas said in an updated forecast.
In Las Vegas, where the mercury hit 100 F (37.7 C) by 10:30 a.m., Marko Boscovich said the best way to beat the heat is in a seat at a slot machine with a cold beer inside an air-conditioned casino.
“But you know, after it hits triple digits it’s about all the same to me,” said Boscovich, who was visiting from Sparks, Nevada to see a Dead & Company concert Saturday night at the Sphere. “Maybe they’ll play one of my favorites — ‘Cold Rain and Snow.’”
In more humid parts of the country, temperatures could spike above 100 F (about 38 C) in parts of the Pacific Northwest, the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, said Jacob Asherman, a weather service meteorologist.
Heat records shattered across the Southwest
Meteorologists predicted that temperatures would be near daily records in the region through most, if not all, of the coming week, with lower desert highs reaching 115 to 120 degrees F (46.1 to 48.8 C).
Rare heat advisories were extended even into higher elevations including around Lake Tahoe, on the border of California and Nevada, with the National Weather Service in Reno, Nevada, warning of “major heat risk impacts, even in the mountains.”
“How hot are we talking? Well, high temperatures across (western Nevada and northeastern California) won’t get below 100 degrees (37.8 C) until next weekend,” the service posted online. “And unfortunately, there won’t be much relief overnight either.”
Indeed, Reno hit a high of 104 F (40 C) on Saturday, smashing the old record of 101 F (38.3 C).
More extreme highs are in the near forecast, including 129 F (53.8 C) for Sunday at Furnace Creek, California, in Death Valley National Park, and then around 130 F (54.4 C) through Wednesday.
The hottest temperature ever officially recorded on Earth was 134 F (56.67 C) in July 1913 in Death Valley, eastern California, though some experts dispute that measurement and say the real record was 130 F (54.4 C), recorded there in July 2021.
The worst is yet to come across the West and mid-Atlantic
Triple-digit temperatures are likely in the West, between 15 and 30 F (8 and 16 C) higher than average into next week, the National Weather Service said.
The Eastern U.S. also was bracing for more hot temperatures. Baltimore and others parts of Maryland were under an excessive heat warning as heat index values could climb to 110 F (43 C), forecasters said.
“Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors,” read a National Weather Service advisory for the Baltimore area. “Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.”
Deaths are starting to mount
In Arizona’s Maricopa County, which encompasses Phoenix, there have been at least 13 confirmed heat-related deaths this year, along with more than 160 other deaths suspected of being related to heat that are still under investigation, according to a recent report.
That does not include the death of a 10-year-old boy last week in Phoenix who suffered a “heat-related medical event” while hiking with family at South Mountain Park and Preserve, according to police.
California wildfires fanned by low humidity, high temperatures
Firefighters dispatched aircraft and helicopters to drop water or retardant on a series of wildfires in California.
In Santa Barbara County, northwest of Los Angeles, the Lake Fire has scorched more than 19 square miles (49 square kilometers) of grass, brush and timber. Firefighters said the blaze was displaying “extreme fire behavior” and had the “potential for large growth” with high temperatures and low humidity.
Festival revelers meet the heat with cold water and shade
At the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, Oregon, music fans coped by drinking cold water, seeking shade or freshening up under water misters. Organizers of the weekend revelries also advertised free access to air conditioning in a nearby hotel.
Angela Quiroz, 31, kept her scarf and hat wet and applied sunscreen.
“Definitely a difference between the shade and the sun,” Quiroz said Friday. “But when you’re in the sun, it feels like you’re cooking.”
___
Associated Press reporter Julie Walker contributed from New York. Boone reported from Boise, Idaho, and Sonner reported from Reno, Nevada. Associated Press journalists Adrian Sainz in Memphis, Tennessee, Jonathan Drew in Raleigh, North Carolina, John Antczak in Los Angeles, Rio Yamat in Las Vegas, Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia, and Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia, contributed.

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Translate »
×