More than 100 million Americans are in the path of a dangerous heat wave Wednesday, stretching across much of the south-central U.S. and parts of the West and Northeast, officials said.
Triple-digit heat is forecast for parts of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, according to the National Weather Service, which said dozens of temperature records were set to be broken in the coming days.
Forecasters say excessive heat can result in people developing heat-related illnesses, and therefore they should take proper precautions such as drinking plenty of fluids and staying out of the sun.
“Scorching heat will remain a major weather story over at least the next few days,” said Cody Snell, a meteorologist for the NWS. He added that even low temperatures would remain warm in the upper 70s or low 80s, increasing the chance of heat-related dangers when a respite in weather doesn’t occur.
Swaths of the U.S.—including parts of Central California, the Southwest, the Plains and the Northeast—were under excessive heat warnings and heat advisories Wednesday.
Temperatures into the 90s were forecasted in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, in addition to the central and northern Plains.
Boston officials declared a heat emergency through Thursday and said the city would open cooling centers. In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul warned residents to stay indoors through Thursday because of the heat and humidity.
The NWS in Fort Worth, Texas, said temperatures in North Texas were set to reach at least 105 degrees. Temperatures reached 109 degrees in Dallas on Tuesday afternoon, breaking the 2018 record of 108 degrees.
Parts of the Midwest were expected to be spared from much of the heat. Instead, a cold front in portions of Michigan and the Ohio area may bring storms that could generate hail and tornadoes, the NWS’s Weather Prediction Center wrote in a forecast on Wednesday morning.
Europe has been scorched by a record-breaking heat wave this week that has been blamed for hundreds of deaths across the continent. The heat and a drought fueled wildfires across swaths of Southern Europe, forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes.
Rising temperatures around the world, which most climate scientists attribute to greenhouse-gas emissions, have caused a record number of heat waves, droughts and wildfires. Last year was one of the hottest years on record, according to two federal agencies, which also reported that the U.S. recorded its hottest summer last year since 1936.