Extreme Heat Is Baking The Country

Many states in the U.S. have come under extreme heat warnings, hitting record
breaking temperatures. More than 100 million Americans across the country are being
warned to stay indoors if possible as high temperatures hit states stretching through
parts of the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes and east to the Carolinas.

According to PBS News, The National Weather Services Prediction Center in College
Park, Maryland said on Monday that 107.5 million people will be affected by the
combination of heat advisories, excessive heat warnings and excessive heat watches
through Wednesday.
Thus far, 17 states are under some form of heat watch or warning from the National
Weather Service. Multiple reports state that smoke from wildfires spreading across
North America will only add to the heat wose, and the heat could lead to even more
wildfires and even worse drought.

In areas towards the South, the heat index is expected to reach 113 degrees
Fahrenheit. Officials predict that the Midwest will get the worst of it on Wednesday when
the index rises as high as 109 degrees.

PBS News reports that St. Louis, Memphis, Minneapolis and Tulsa are among several
cities under excessive heat warnings, with temperature forecast to reach about 100
degrees Fahrenheit. With high humidity, that could make conditions feel close to 110
degrees.

“Extreme heat and humidity will significantly increase the potential for heat related
illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities,” NWS
wrote. “…the warmest conditions [are to be] expected Wednesday afternoon.”

Municipalities around the country have announced their plans to open cooling centers,
including Chicago, where officials started alerting residents Monday about where they
could find relief from the heat. The city plans to open six community service centers on
Tuesday and Wednesday and said in a statement that people could also cool off in 75
public libraries located around the city.

While states around the country are finding ways to deal with this sweltering heat, it is
clear that extreme heat is becoming more common and intense– and the trend will get
even worse as time goes on. Environmental scientists have released a study claiming
that “record-shattering extremes” will become drastically more common if the world
continues to burn fossil fuels.

In summary, many officials believe that this extreme heat is just the start of it.

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