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Over half the US is under extreme heat or flood warnings

This is likely the hottest time period in more than 120,000 years, according to preliminary analyses.
Posted at 9:50 AM, Jul 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-28 09:50:51-04

Roughly 200 million Americans, or about 60% of the total U.S. population, are currently under either a heat advisory or a flood warning.

Washington, D.C., is sweltering under an excessive heat warning, with the heat index expected to reach a scorching 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

But the intense heatwave isn't limited to just the nation’s capital; it encompasses a vast area along the entire East Coast, stretching from Portland, Maine, and heading south through Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and even reaching into North Carolina. Moving westward, the heat warnings and advisories extend through Chicago and into the Great Plains, affecting a significant portion of the country.

In Phoenix, the relentless heat persists as the region endures its 29th consecutive day with temperatures exceeding 110 degrees. However, there was a glimmer of relief overnight when the first monsoon rains of the season swept through the area. As more monsoon rains are expected, it is anticipated that the streak of extreme temperatures will likely be broken on Sunday, with temperatures forecast to reach 109 degrees.

Major U.S. power grid warns of highest demand of the year
A power distribution map at PJM Interconnection

Major U.S. power grid warns of highest demand of the year

Eastern states are expected to use large amounts of power for cooling this week.

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Additionally, parts of the Northeast, New England, the South, and South Florida are at risk of severe thunderstorms and flash floods. Flood warnings are particularly in urban regions and locations with poor drainage in the metro areas, the National Weather Service says.

The National Weather Service satellite shows severe weather alerts as a system intensifies across the upper Midwest, spanning from Iowa to Chicago and likely to bring strong storms and hail Friday.

The remainder of the satellite imagery shows a pattern of excessive heat warnings along the East Coast, with additional warnings extending across eastern Kansas, Nebraska, most of Iowa, Missouri and Illinois, and widespread heat advisories covering the Midwest, East Coast and Northeast.

The heat on the East Coast and in the Midwest is expected to let up some, as temperatures may be in the 80s by Sunday. The heat is going to sink back toward the Southwest and intensify over Texas next week.

The United Nations' World Meteorological Organization says this month is expected to be the hottest in recorded history. And according to preliminary analyses by the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service, this is likely the hottest time period in more than 120,000 years.