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Monday, November 28, 2022

Extreme heat in the US: Pacific Northwest heat increases this week, while the Northeast is expected to see relief

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Suppressive heat broke daily high temperatures in several northeastern cities on Sunday — prompting local officials to declare heat emergencies.

Newark Liberty International Airport reached a maximum of 102 degrees Fahrenheit, beating the previous July 24 record set in 2010 of 99 degrees. In Boston, temperatures reached 100 degrees, surpassing the previous record of 98 degrees set in 1933.

Providence, Rhode Island, reached 98 degrees, breaking a record 94 degrees in 1933. And Philadelphia reached 99 degrees, just surpassing the record 98 degrees in 2011.

More than 60 million people in the US still have heat warnings Monday morning as high temperatures continue, mainly in the Northeast, Central US and Pacific Northwest.

New York City, Newark and Boston will remain below heat advisories through Monday night, as heat index values ​​may still climb into the upper 90s. Philadelphia has an extreme heat warning until Monday night, with heat index values ​​expected to reach 100 degrees. But after Tuesday, temperatures in the northeast will begin to drop closer to normal levels.

Meanwhile, parts of the Pacific Northwest — which got off to a much cooler start to the year compared to eastern counterparts — are under several extreme heat watches Monday that have the potential to be upgraded to heat warnings during the day. Those high temperatures are expected to last throughout the week and could last into next week.

“During the day, peaks will surpass the 90s and even surpass the century mark in the Columbia River Gorge and Columbia River Basin every day,” according to the Weather Prediction Center. “The daily record highs are likely to be broken Tuesday from Northern California to the Portland and Seattle metro areas.”

Seattle has a heat advisory from noon Tuesday to late Friday, and Portland has an extreme heat warning Monday through Thursday night with highs expected between 98 and 103 degrees.

Cities in the Central Plains – including Dallas, Oklahoma City, Shreveport, Louisiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Springfield, Missouri, are also under heat advisories Monday, with highs expected to climb into the upper 90s and triple digits for at least midweek.

Excessive heat warnings are in effect in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Fort Smith, Arkansas, where heat index readings can reach 112 degrees.

A sweltering weekend

The weekend saw sweltering temperatures that put more than 90 million people under extreme heat warnings on Sunday in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Ohio River Valley and Central Plains.

Cities that were swaying in the prolonged heat moved to implement emergency measures, including cooling stations, splash pads and extra assistance to people who were homeless.

Concerns about the safety of the participants forced the organizers of the New York City Triathlon to drastically reduce race distances and urge athletes to stay hydrated. The annual triathlon event in Boston was postponed until next month due to the sweltering heat in the city.
Boston and Philadelphia have extended their heat distress warnings through Monday, warning residents to take steps to avoid heat-related illness as heat indices — a measure of how hot it actually feels from combined heat and humidity — are expected to be in the highest will be. the 90’s.

“As we extend the heat emergency for the second time, it is clear that a changing climate is a public health risk for our city,” Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said in a statement. “I am grateful to the many city employees who helped us through the early part of this emergency, and urge residents to continue to take care of each other.”

Excess heat poses real health risks, according to the CDC, especially for high-risk groups such as the elderly, children, and those with chronic illnesses and mental health problems. When people’s bodies can’t cool down enough or lose too much water, they can face potentially life-threatening conditions like heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

On Saturday, at least one person died from heat exposure in New York City, according to the medical examiner’s office, noting the man had pre-existing conditions. The highest temperature in the city that day was 97 degrees.

Excessive heat causes power cut

The scorching heat left tens of thousands of people without power over the weekend as high temperatures caused power cuts, conditions exacerbated in some regions by ongoing storms.

About 20,000 customers were affected by a power outage in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood on Sunday, energy company Eversource said in a statement.

Eversource worked Sunday afternoon to power the remaining approximately 7,500 customers and advised residents not to use large appliances during peak hours and set their thermostats a few degrees higher than normal to reduce energy consumption.

Extreme heat is bad for everyone's health -- and it gets worse

New York electricity supplier Con Edison said its workers continued to recover from “scattered outages caused by the scorching heat” Sunday afternoon, while the company also prepared for another weather challenge – thunderstorms predicted Monday.

The company did not say how many of its customers were affected by the outages, but said in a statement on Sunday that its employees “replaced and repaired cable and other equipment to get customers back in service”.

The company said it plans to hire additional workers to help repair damaged overhead lines and equipment in anticipation of Monday’s storms.

Saturday afternoon storms in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, cut power to more than 10,000 customers, leaving affected residents without electricity as near-record temperatures were predicted across the region.

Local energy company West Penn Power said in a statement that high temperatures affected its services on Sunday, even as it braced for additional storms. The company went on to say Twitter On Sunday, it was in the process of restoring service to about 6,000 customers without power, against about 39,000 total affected customers.

CNN’s Samantha Beech, Haley Brink, Liam Reilly, Emily Chang and Benjamin Schiller contributed to this report.


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