US heat wave: Heat wave relief is on the way for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, but southern areas remain at risk


The main part of extreme heat that has sweltered the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions this week is expected to end late Saturday, but many in the southern United States are set to endure sweltering temperatures for a few more days as heat-related deaths rise.

Various heat alerts continue for millions stretching from Missouri to Virginia and New Jersey, but most of them are expected to expire Saturday evening. During the day, the temperatures will not drop.

“Many locations are set to break their daytime temperature records as well as warm overnight lows into Saturday morning,” National Weather Service saidadding that some areas in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic can expect their highest temperatures so far this year.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Vendors sell cold drinks near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on July 27.

That dangerously high temperatures has proven deadly in Arizona, Illinois and Texas as the expansive heat wave spread across most of the country, with humidity also playing a role in exacerbating the physical effects on people, animals and plants.

Experts agree on that human-caused climate change is a major factor leading to record high temperatures, scientists say July will be the planet’s hottest month ever.

Heat indices — a measure of how the temperature feels on the skin when relative humidity is taken into account — is expected to hover around 100 and 110 degrees Saturday across parts of the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

But relief is on the way for some: On Sunday, a cold front will move through the Mid-Atlantic, ultimately ending the heat wave for much of the East Coast.

Meanwhile, the South West is expected to be in a heat wave for several days before some relief sets in. Phoenix can finish his days streak of heights above 110 degrees on Sunday, while Las Vegas expected to see temperatures above 100 degrees early next week. Another heat wave expected to build early next week across the south and gulf coasts.

Here’s how the heat has affected communities across the country:

• Heat-related deaths are on the rise in the United States: In Illinois, a 53-year-old woman died Thursday in her Peoria apartment, which had no air conditioning, because the power had been cut there, the Peoria County coroner’s office said. She died of “an exacerbation of her chronic medical conditions due to the excessive heat in the apartment,” the coroner’s office said. In Texas, a 66-year-old woman died early Tuesday of the extreme heat after being taken to a hospital from her North Richland Hills apartment, police said.

• Arizona county prepares for deaths: Arizona’s Maricopa County has added 10 refrigerated containers to handle a possible overflow of heat-related deaths. The containers have not been needed yet, but the medical examiner’s office is over capacity, a county spokesman said. CNN affiliate KTVK/KPHO. The county, home to the state’s most populous city, Phoenix, had already reported 25 heat-related deaths so far this year as of Monday. Dozens of other deaths were investigated for a potential link to heat.

• Heat alarms: Washington, DC and parts of Maryland and Virginia along with St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, are under one warning of excessive heat Saturday. Philadelphia, New York City and Newark, New Jersey are below heating advice.

The extreme heat has taken a toll on animals in Tennessee this week. Authorities rescued 21 dogs from garage and concrete shed-like structure at Lawrenceburg home ‘unfit for human or animal habitation’ Lawrence County Sheriff said. Temperatures in the area were in the 90s and the dogs had no food or water. The dogs were removed from the property and received treatment.

In Arizona this week, some cacti are dead at a botanical garden in Phoenix from soaring temperatures, and so were state officials reporting of emergency room visits for extreme heat burns after people fall to the ground.

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