73 million people on heat alert as high temperatures spread to the Northeast

At least 73 million people were on heat alert Thursday as high temperatures were expected to spread to the Northeast and New England.

Temperatures were forecast to rise into the upper 90s from the mid-Atlantic to Maine on Thursday on what is expected to be the hottest day of the week.

Several record highs are likely to be broken in Philadelphia; Newark, New Jersey; Hartford, Connecticut; Boston; and Albany, New York.

If Albany hits 97 F degrees or more, it would be the city’s hottest day in a decade.

The heat combined with high humidity results in dangerous Heat Index readings of 95-105. New York City’s heat index was forecast to rise to the century mark, with Philadelphia and Washington, DC both forecasting a 102 feeling.

Friday should be another hot day, albeit a few degrees cooler than Thursday, before slightly cooler temperatures arrive for the weekend.

Some of the Plains states were also expected to bake under sweltering temperatures that could spike into the triple digits in a relentless stretch of 100-degree days.

Drought conditions also continue to worsen, which may push temperatures even higher.

As of Wednesday, Dallas had experienced 61 straight days without rain, the second-longest dry spell on record. With no rain on the horizon, temperatures have already risen above 100 degrees on 39 days this year. The average is 22 days a year.

The heat in the region is expected to last through the weekend. Other locations, such as Oklahoma City, are forecasting heat index readings of up to 107 degrees. At these temperatures, anyone who spends long periods in the sun can become afflicted with heat exhaustion, with a high risk of heat stroke.

The heat and humidity can also trigger thunderstorms, which can result in strong winds, hail and flash floods. Thunderstorms were expected from northern Tennessee through the Ohio River Valley and into the interior portions of the Northeast and New England Thursday afternoon.

Areas with repeated rains may fall as much as 3 to 4 inches of rain, with higher amounts possible in some locations.

As a cold front moves east on Friday, the risk of heavy rain and severe thunderstorms will shift to the Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian regions. Flash floods are possible, especially in urban areas and in the mountains.

Climate change will bring more frequent and intense heat waves by raising the baseline temperature. According to Climate Central, 74% of the United States is experiencing longer heatwaves than 50 years ago.

For San Antonio, that means there are now 21 more days of temperatures above 95 degrees than in 1970. Tampa, Florida is seeing seven more days of temperatures above 90 degrees compared to 50 years ago. For hot southwestern cities like Tucson, Arizona, heat waves over 105 degrees now last six days longer. 73 million people on heat alert as high temperatures spread to the Northeast

Fry Electronics Team

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