EXTREME HEAT

As 70 million+ are under heat alerts in the Midwest, East Coast, Texas may get a break

Much of the Midwest and Northeast were under heat warnings or watches

More than 70 million people in the United States were under extreme heat alerts Monday as a heat wave moved eastward, and the mid-Atlantic and New England were likely to see highs in the 90s as the week progresses. Excessive humidity will make it feel even more oppressive. In North Texas, however, a tropical disturbance may drop temperatures below 90.

The U.S. last year saw the most heat waves, consisting of abnormally hot weather lasting more than two days, since 1936. Officials again warned residents to take precautions.

Much of the Midwest and Northeast were under heat warnings or watches. Meanwhile, a fresh batch of tropical moisture was bringing an increasing threat of heavy rain and flash flooding to the central Gulf Coast.

NBC 5 Meteorologist Kevan Smith said while we're feeling the heat and humidity early this week in North Texas the disturbance in the gulf will bring us slightly cooler weather later in the week.

"We're experiencing a brief taste of this heatwave as temperatures have topped out into the lower to mid-90s. With the humidity, our feels-like temperatures have reached into the upper-90s to lower-100s," Smith said. "Our weather pattern will change as we monitor a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico. This will lead to a slight drop in temperatures and rain chances. Hot temperatures and humidity will return by the weekend."

Hurricane season this year is forecast to be among the most active in recent memory.

The heat has been especially dangerous in recent years in Phoenix, where 645 people died from heat-related causes in 2023, which was a record. Temperatures there hit 112 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday. Weather service forecasters say the first two weeks of June in Phoenix have been an average of 5.6 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than normal — the hottest start to June on record there.

A meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix, Ted Whittock, advised reducing time outdoors between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., staying hydrated and wearing light, looser-fitting clothing. More than 100 cooling centers were open in the city and surrounding county, including two new overnight ones.

In neighboring New Mexico, heat on the Chaves County plains including Roswell was expected to hit 107 degrees on Monday. In southern Colorado, temperatures were expected to surpass 100 degrees.

In Southern California, firefighters increased their containment of a large wildfire in the mountains north of Los Angeles on Monday after a weekend of explosive, wind-driven growth along Interstate 5.

While much of the U.S. swelters, late-season snow was forecast for the northern Rockies on Monday and Tuesday. Parts of Montana and north-central Idaho were under a winter storm warning. As much as 20 inches was predicted for higher elevations around Glacier National Park.

HEAT SAFETY TIPS

With heat like this, you'll want to take precautions and be prepared.

Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors to ensure they stay cool.

Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles. According to the National Safety Council, if it's 95 degrees outside a car's internal temperature could climb to 129 degrees in 30 minutes. After just 10 minutes, temperatures inside could reach 114 degrees.

A child's body temperature heats up three to five times faster than an adult's, and heatstroke can begin when a person's core body temperature reaches 104 degrees. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, a core temperature of 107 degrees is lethal.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments to reduce risk during outdoor work. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heatstroke is an emergency! Call 911. The CDC has more information on heat-related illnesses.

Take care of your pets by providing fresh, cool water and shade. Also, pets should not be left outside and unattended for too long. It's too hot and they need to be brought inside.

NBC 5 and The Associated Press
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