Persistent US heat wave claims six lives, scorching conditions set to continue

Persistent US heat wave claims six lives, scorching conditions set to continue

A scorching heat wave over the mid-Atlantic and Northeast US shows no signs of relief. Persistent hot weather conditions have caused six deaths so far, according to media reports.

32.2 °C (90 °F) was recorded in Cleveland on July 24, 2016. The day was the fourth in a row of temperatures exceeding 32 °C (90 °F) and, so far, this July, such and higher temperatures were reported for eight days in Cleveland. Over the last weekend, an excessive heat warning was in effect, urging senior citizens to exercise caution.

A twelve-year-old boy died of a heat stroke while hiking the Sonoran Mountain Preserve in Arizona after temperatures reached 43.8 °C (111 °F).

According to weather.com meteorologists, the hot conditions are caused by a high-pressure dome in the upper atmosphere.

Image credit: NWS/ Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Temperatures around 30.6 °C (87 °F) were expected on July 25, while maximum temperatures around 27 °C (80 °F) were forecast until July 28. The heat index across several states will likely soar above 37.8 °C (100 °F) for the next couple of days, and the warm conditions are not expected to ease soon.

"Overall, the weather pattern looks to remain a bit warmer than normal well into early August. This will not only be across the Northeast, but across much of the country," said Dave Samuhel, an AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist.

The heat wave is currently affecting about 114 million people across 27 states, for which appropriate heat watches, warnings, and advisories have been placed in effect: "It's fair to say that the vast majority of the nation has been experiencing above normal temperatures for the past week," said David Robinson, a New Jersey state climatologist at Rutgers University.

Image credit: NWS/DOC/NOAA/NCEP/WPC

According to the National Weather Service, very hot and humid airmass will persist over portions of the mid-Atlantic and southeast. Afternoon high temperatures in these areas are forecast to reach between 35 and 37.8 °C (95 and 100 °F) with heat index values ranging from 37.8 and 43.3 °C (100 to 110 °F). Hot temperatures are also expected over portions of the west. 

Above average temperatures are forecast to continue along much of the eastern US through mid-week. Afternoon high temperatures for the rest of the day and tomorrow will again be 2.7 to 5.5 °C (5 to 10 °F) above average for many areas. Heat advisories remain in effect for portions of Virginia and the Carolinas while, across the West, high pressure aloft will keep dry conditions in place through mid-week, with afternoon high temperatures expected to be 2.7 to 8.3 °C (5 to 15 °F) above average.

The scorching conditions have played an important part in wildfires raging in Southern California, responsible for destroying 18 homes over the last weekend.

Featured image credit: NWS/DOC/NOAA/NCEP/WPC

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