Nearly 80 million Americans from the central United States to the northeast are on heat warnings or advisories as authorities across the country urge people to take precautions when in the outside.
Heat index values – what is air feels like – can reach at least 105 degrees this weekend in parts of the northeast and mid-Atlantic, helped by sweltering humidity, the forecast center noted.
In New York, the governor is urging people to take advantage of cooling centers and monitor particularly vulnerable communities.
“We need everyone to be on high alert this weekend, watching for any signs of heat-related illness and taking care of each other,” Governor Kathy Hochul said in a news release.
In Philadelphia — where the high predicted for Sunday is 101 degrees — officials have extended a heat-related health emergency. Cooling centers, home visits by special teams and increased awareness of the homeless during the day are available until Sunday.
A heat emergency is in effect in Washington, DC, until at least Monday morning as temperatures are expected to be 95 degrees or higher, the mayor said. Shelters and cooling centers have also been opened to serve those in need, the mayor said.
This week, at least 2 heat-related deaths in the United States
Extreme heat has claimed at least two lives so far this week.
In Dallas, a 66-year-old woman who had underlying health issues died of heat-related issues, a county official said Thursday.
And on Wednesday, a 22-year-old hiker died of possible dehydration and exposure at a national park in South Dakota, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
The hiker was airlifted to hospital after running out of water while hiking on an unmarked trail in Badlands National Park.
Highs in the region this week were in the upper 90s, according to the National Weather Service. Typical highs are 92 degrees in July.
In Arizona, Maricopa County officials reported that at least 29 people have died from heat-related issues since March, the majority of whom were outdoors. Last year there were 16 heat-related deaths during the same period in 2021, the county public health department said. In the meantime, dozens more deaths are being investigated across the county for heat-related causes.
In fact, heat-related deaths have exceeded hurricane-related deaths by more than 15 to 1 over the past decade, according to data tracked by the National Weather Service.
Meanwhile in New Mexico, two women died Thursday after a flash flood in San Miguel County, the sheriff said in a statement.
First responders found the bodies of the two women in a creek channel after seeing a car had capsized, Sheriff Chris Lopez said. A man was also missing in the floods, he added.
85% of the United States will see high temperatures next week
About 85% of the US population – or 273 million people – could see high temperatures above 90 degrees over the next week. And around 55 million people could see high temperatures of 100 degrees or more over the next seven days.
Daytime temperatures could exceed 100 degrees in much of the southwest, with some areas exceeding 110 degrees, according to the center.
The south-central region can expect to see triple-digit high temperatures every day between Sunday and Thursday, the forecast center noted.
“There is good news in the medium term (after the weekend) as the approach of a cold front brings a brief injection of cooler temperatures in the Midwest and Northeast, but the heart of intense heat moves into the south-central United States and the Pacific Northwest early next week,” the prediction center wrote.
CNN’s Samantha Beech, Robert Shackelford, Rachel Ramirez, Rebekah Riess, Paradise Afshar and Allison Chinchar contributed to this report.