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At least 7 deaths may have been caused by record-breaking heat as U.S. temperatures soar.

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In addition to breaking heat records and prompting an air quality health advisory, the intense heat wave that is sweeping over areas of the United States is believed to be responsible for at least seven fatalities. On Tuesday, there were heat advisories for over 130 million people in the West, the East Coast, southeast Texas, and South Florida. Due to the possibility of wildfires, a sizable portion of the Western United States saw “red flag” conditions.

Record-High Heat in Major Cities

The National Weather Service stated that the heat index made it seem like 96 degrees in Central Park, New York City. It reached a startling 103 degrees at Newark Liberty International Airport in neighboring New Jersey. Up to 11 p.m., there was an air quality health alert in effect for the Lower Hudson Valley and metro New York City, advising people to minimize their outside activities and stay inside.

Officials believe that the intense heat is to blame for at least seven deaths that have occurred in the Western United States. Five deaths in Oregon since Friday are being looked into as possibly heat-related deaths, according to the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A motorcyclist in Death Valley, California, passed away on Saturday from what appears to have been heat exhaustion, while another person was admitted to the hospital on Saturday. Furthermore, according to Sacramento-based NBC station KCRA, Kevin Gerhardt passed away on Sunday as a result of the extreme heat.

Infrastructure Challenges under Adverse Circumstances

The road surface in Skagit County, Washington, gave way due to the extremely high temperatures. Workers worked all weekend to fix the “heat heave,” which is the phrase for the buckling brought on the high temperatures. In an advisory, the Washington State Transportation Department cautioned drivers to be mindful of the continuing repairs and to anticipate brief delays.

Heatwave Prediction and Documentation

The heatwave is expected to start breaking across the Pacific Northwest by Thursday and spread to the West by the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. That being said, the East will endure unbearable heat and humidity for the remainder of the week and into the weekend.

Tuesday’s searing 117 degree temperature in Las Vegas broke the previous day record, which was set in 2021. Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport recorded a low of 91 degrees and a high of 115 degrees around 5 p.m. Phoenix broke the record high temperature for July 8—115 degrees in 1985—on Monday with a startling 118 degrees.

Heat Forecasts for the Future

With temperatures projected to be 10 to 30 degrees above average, the Weather Prediction Center of the National Weather Service predicts that heat records will continue to be broken in the upcoming days. Up until Friday night, there are excessive heat advisories in effect for parts of California, including the Sacramento Valley, where highs of 105 to 113 degrees are expected.

Extreme heat is also being felt in Salt Lake City, where there is an excessive heat warning in place through Saturday at midnight. The weather service predicts that each afternoon’s high will be between 100 and 105 degrees.

Health Warnings and Safety Measures

Health experts are advising locals in impacted areas to take the appropriate precautions as long as the intense heat continues. These include drinking plenty of water, avoiding physically demanding outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day, and keeping an eye on susceptible groups including the elderly and people with underlying medical concerns.

In addition to shattering temperature records, the record-breaking heat wave that is sweeping the United States has presented serious health hazards and infrastructure challenges. Reducing the negative impacts of this extreme weather event is largely dependent on being aware and taking preventive action, especially as the country prepares for further high temperatures.

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