Thousands without power after heat wave triggers storms in US

The severe weather threat is expected to linger until Monday, while extreme heat advisories are likely to continue for several days.
A person stands in front of a tree that's fallen as a result of a storm.
Posted at 7:10 PM, Jun 18, 2023

The southern regions of the United States experienced soaring temperatures over the weekend that led to an increase in heat advisories and resulted in severe thunderstorms, causing power outages for hundreds of thousands of people across the country.

As of Monday morning, nearly 470,000 people in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi were still without power following the storms, according to

Overnight and into early Sunday, there were several reports of severe weather, including tornadoes and hail larger than baseballs, across parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and along the Gulf Coast.

Sea surface temperature anomalies during an El Nino period

NOAA says an unusually early El Nino is on the way

An earlier start to El Nino makes 2023 more likely to be one of the warmer years on record.


However, new rounds of severe thunderstorms will continue to batter parts of the South, with thunderstorms expected to touch down from Alabama, to Florida and Mississippi Sunday evening, with the possibility of isolated tornadoes and frequent lightning, according to the National Weather Service. The severe weather threat is expected to linger until Monday. 

Additionally, NWS warns that over 50 million people are under either an excessive heat warning or heat advisory across the southern U.S., mainly in Texas, Louisiana, and southern Mississippi, which will likely continue for several days.

The heat and winds from the storm have raised wildfire threats in Arizona and New Mexico.

According to theAssociated Press, firefighters in Arizona and New Mexico are currently dealing with multiple wildfires in the Southwest region, and winds are expected to gust from 30 mph to 40 mph on Sunday and up to 50 mph on Monday, which could result in a high risk of fire weather conditions across a large part of northeastern New Mexico.