More than 85 million Americans from the central US to the Northeast are under heat warnings or advisories Saturday morning as officials across the country urge people to take precautions when outdoors.
“In terms of actual high temps, look for daytime max temps to eclipse the century mark in the Central Plains and record breaking high temps from the Central Plains to the Northeast today (Saturday).”
Heat index values — what the air feels like — may reach at least 105 degrees Fahrenheit this weekend in parts of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, aided by the suffocating humidity, the prediction center noted.
“Temperatures at night will struggle to drop below 80 degrees, especially in the highly urbanized areas such as Center City Philadelphia,” the National Weather Service office in nearby Mount Holly said.
In New York, the governor is urging people to take advantage of cooling centers and check on particularly vulnerable communities.
“We need everyone to be on alert this weekend, keeping an eye out for any signs of heat-related illness and looking after one another,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a news release.
In Philadelphia — where the air is forecast to feel as hot as 107 degrees Fahrenheit Sunday — officials extended a heat health emergency. Cooling centers, home visits by special teams and enhanced daytime outreach to people experiencing homelessness are available through Sunday.
A heat emergency is in effect in Washington, DC, until at least Monday morning as temperatures are expected to be 95 degrees or higher, the mayor announced. Shelters and cooling centers have also opened to serve those who need them, the mayor said.
This week saw at least 2 heat-related deaths in US
The extreme heat claimed at least two lives so far this week.
In Dallas, a 66-year-old woman who had underlying health conditions died due to heat-related issues, a county official said Thursday.
And on Wednesday, a 22-year-old hiker died due to possible dehydration and exposure in a South Dakota national park, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
The hiker was flown to a hospital after running out of water while hiking on an unmarked trail in Badlands National Park.
Highs in the area this week have been in the upper 90s, according to the National Weather Service. Typically, highs are 92 degrees in July.
In Arizona, officials in Maricopa County reported at least 29 people died from heat-related issues since March — the majority of whom were outdoors. Last year, 16 heat-related deaths during the same period in 2021, the county’s public health department said. In the meantime, dozens of other deaths are under investigation in the county for heat-related causes.
In fact, heat deaths have outpaced hurricane deaths by more than 15-to-1 over the past decade, according to data tracked by the National Weather Service.
Meanwhile in New Mexico, two women died Thursday after flash flooding in San Miguel County, the sheriff said in a statement.
First-responders there found the bodies of the two women in a creek channel after seeing a car had capsized, Sheriff Chris Lopez said. A man was also reported missing in the flooding, he added.
85% of US will see high temperatures next week
About 85% of the US population — or 273 million people — could see high temperatures above 90 degrees over the next week. And about 55 million people could see high temperatures at or above 100 degrees over the next seven days.
Daytime temperatures could top 100 degrees across much of the Southwest, with some areas exceeding 110 degrees, according to the center.
The south-central region can expect to see high temperatures in the triple digits every day between Sunday and Thursday, the prediction center noted.
“There is some good news in the medium range (after the weekend) as an approaching cold front brings a brief injection of cooler temps to the Midwest and Northeast, but the core of the intense heat shifts to the South Central US and Pacific Northwest early next week,” the prediction center wrote.
CNN’s Samantha Beech, Robert Shackelford, Rachel Ramirez, Rebekah Riess, Paradise Afshar and Haley Brink contributed to this report.