Heat Wave Builds Over Midwest, Northeast As 72 Million Under Heat Warnings

Woman suffering from heat wave

Photo: invizbk / E+ / Getty Images

A severe heat wave is sweeping across the Midwest and Northeast, placing almost 72 million people under extreme heat warnings. The summer of 2024 is starting with record-breaking temperatures, with some areas expected to experience highs of up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat wave is expected to last through the week and possibly beyond.

Cities under extreme heat warnings include Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, and Albany, New York. The heat wave is due to a high-pressure system known as an upper-level ridge expanding over the Midwest and the East Coast, producing clear skies, warm, stable air, and record-breaking temperatures.

The National Weather Service (NWS) warns that the effects of the heat, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, could be fatal. The heat wave is expected to be the most impactful of the 21st century, with the heat index reaching 100 or 105 degrees in some places.

In response to the extreme heat, Buffalo Public Schools announced a half-day schedule for four of the week's five days, allowing pre-K through 8th grade students to go home by the end of the lunch hour.

The heat wave is also expected to set new temperature records in some 200 cities from the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes into the northern mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. The NWS advises those in affected areas to limit outdoor activity and stay hydrated.

Meanwhile, on the northwest side of the heat, flash flooding could occur in the Dakotas and Minnesota. On the southwest side, rain pushing in from the Gulf of Mexico is expected in parts of Texas and Louisiana, possibly through Wednesday.

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