Northeast and Midwest brace for dangerously hot temperatures and heat dome

Things are about to heat up across much of the United States with dangerously high temperatures in the Midwest and Northeast next week, prompting health officials to urge people to make plans now to stay safe.

The heat wave follows an earlier-than-usual heat wave in the Southwest last week, which saw triple-digit temperatures in cities like Phoenix, where there were 645 heat-related deaths. heat last year. The world saw record temperatures this yearwith more than three-quarters of the world’s population facing at least a month of extreme heat.

Last year, the United States experienced the most heat waves – abnormally hot weather lasting more than two days – since 1936. In the South and Southwest, last year was the worst ever recorded, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The next heat wave will intensify in the central part of the country on Sunday before spreading east, the National Weather Service said, with some areas likely to see extreme temperatures reaching daily records. The heatwave could last all week and into the weekend in many locations. Parts of the country will also experience a heat domewhere hot air is trapped by the atmosphere.

Which areas will experience extreme heat?

There will be areas of extreme heat — when there is little or no relief overnight — from eastern Kansas to Maine, according to a heat hazard map from the National Weather Service. Heat will accumulate over the Plains states on Sunday, where there will be extreme heat by Monday that spreads eastward into the Great Lakes states and the Northeast.

Temperatures will be in the mid to upper 90s in many areas and will likely reach daily records in the Ohio Valley and Northeast, with the dew point making some areas as hot as 105 degrees Fahrenheit, the weather service said.

It will be the worst heat wave that metro Detroit has seen in 20 years or more, with temperatures forecast in the mid-90s and heat indexes around 100 F starting Monday and possibly lasting into the weekend -end, said Steven Freitag, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. The region may see its first 100-degree day Since July 2012.

Although nighttime temperatures will drop into the 70s, providing some relief, the duration of the heat can have a cumulative effect and potentially dangerous effect on the body, Freitag said.

More than 75% of the world’s population has struggled with extreme heat over the past year.

What are the dangers of extreme heat?

Heat-related illnesses can be deadly if not recognized and treated early, and often start with cramps or muscle spasms, experts say. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke could result.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include heavy sweating and fatigue; a weak pulse; cool, pale or clammy skin; and headache, dizziness, nausea and fainting. The person should be moved to an air-conditioned space and offered sips of water. Loosen their clothes and apply cool, damp cloths or put them in a cool bath. Seek medical help if they vomit.

A person suffering from heatstroke may experience headaches, confusion, nausea, dizziness, and a body temperature above 103 F. They may also have hot, red, dry, or moist skin; rapid pulse and fainting or loss of consciousness. The CDC advises people to call 911 immediately and, while waiting for help, use cool cloths or a cool bath and move them to an air-conditioned space, but not give them anything to drink.

A study supported by the National Institutes of Health published in 2023 Predicted increase in heat-related deaths from 2036 to 2065 due to rising temperatures.

“Climate change and its many manifestations will play an increasingly important role in the health of communities around the world in the decades to come,” said Dr. Sameed Khatana, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. and cardiologist at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said in a press release. “Climate change is also a health equity issue because it will disproportionately impact certain individuals and populations and could exacerbate pre-existing health disparities in the United States. »

Young children and infants, pregnant women, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses are particularly vulnerable, as are those who cannot get around properly or who live alone. The NIH-backed study also indicates that Black Americans may be at greater risk of heat-related death or illness.

How to protect yourself from extreme heat?

Stay indoors in an air-conditioned space and limit outdoor activities During periods of extreme heat, experts say. If you don’t have air conditioning, find out if your community will open cooling centers. But even those with air conditioning should plan ahead in case of a power outage, said Freitag, of the National Weather Service. Limit outdoor activities to the morning or, better yet, don’t go out, he said.

Other advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

    1. Drink plenty of water and take a cool shower or bath.

    2. Wear light, loose clothing and use your stove and oven less.

    3. Check in on your friends and family, especially those who don’t have air conditioning.

Communities can also prepare by opening cooling centers in places like schools and libraries. Some also text residents or have hotlines that people can call for help.

In Franklin County, Ohio, the Office on Aging is distributing ventilators to residents 60 and older, Kristin Howard said.

And some companies whose employees work outside say they will start earlier to avoid the worst heat.

“When it’s this kind of heat, all outdoor activities should be of short duration (preferably) … early in the morning,” Freitag said. “But otherwise, there really shouldn’t be any outdoor activity with physical exertion at the height of the day.”

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