A record-breaking heatwave is set to hit the US and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere during the next few days, the National Weather Service warned.
An intense heatwave is hitting the US and several regions of the Northern Hemisphere during the next few days with temperatures in excess of 90ºF (32ºC), the National Weather Service (NWS) announced. It's expected to affect two thirds of the country, with Chicago, Washington D.C., St. Louis, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Nashville, and New York among the most affected cities.
The wave is likely to mark the highest summer temperatures ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere—which is a big deal.
"Excessive heat will impact tens of millions of people from the Midwest to the East Coast today through the weekend!," the NWS tweeted on Wednesday. "The max heat index will reach well over 100 degrees."
Authorities are warning about the dangers this heatwave poses to health and are recommending people to take appropriate measures—including staying hydrated, avoiding working or exercising outdoors, and maintaining proper ventilation throughout houses and workspaces. "As the City's doctor, I want to warn every New Yorker that hot and humid weather like we're expecting this weekend can be deadly," said Dr. Oxiris Barbot, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "Hydrate with water—not with alcoholic or caffeinated beverages. And as always, check in your neighbors."
Symptoms of excessive heat exposure include feeling faint or dizzy, nausea or vomiting, confusion, rapid pulse, and a throbbing headache, among others. If you start feeling any of these symptoms while under extreme temperatures, make sure to seek a cooler place, preferably with air conditioning (if possible) and use cool cloths or even take a cold shower to lower your body temperature. If anyone around you loses consciousness during the heatwave, make sure to call 911 immediately.
Nights will offer no safe haven either, as the lowest temperatures will still remain above 70ºF (21ºC). According to the NWS, more than 104 million Americans live within the warning zone.
A scary record in the Arctic
Record-high temperatures in excess of 70ºF have been recorded less than 500 miles south of the Arctic this summer—a truly scary figure. The Northern Pole had never been known to experience such intense heat in recorded history, and the consequences are potentially devastating for many species, humans included.
These temperatures are in line with the predictions surrounding anthropogenic climate change, effectively re-confirming what we already knew: we're currently undergoing a climate crisis unprecedented in human history. That means extreme weather events like the current heatwave will become increasingly common over the next few years.
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