President Obama warned Americans today that the US is going to get astonishingly hot this weekend.
In eastern Missouri and southern Illinois, an area that includes St. Louis, the National Weather Service (NWS) predicts a high of 97 degrees Fahrenheit Thursday, 100 degrees Friday, and 97 degrees Saturday. The government has issued an excessive heat warning for the area because the heat index, which factors in humidity (and gives a better idea of how hot it will actually feel), is expected to rise to 111 degrees.
That’s knock-you-on-your-butt weather, but it’s not even the worst the NWS says people should expect.
In Phoenix, Arizona the agency predicts highs of 111 degrees Thursday, 112 degrees Friday, and 111 degrees Saturday. And that’s raw temperature — not heat index. An excessive heat watch has been issued for that period, but it’s not like things are going to get much better once its over: On Sunday, residents of the city can expect a high of 108.
And across the US, things are going to be pretty uncomfortable. Temperatures in New York City should rise into the low 90s this weekend, according to the NWS — though Weather.com predicts a high of 97 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday. In either case, the heat index could hover around 100 degrees.
Similar weather will hold across much of the Midwest, South, East Coast, Texas, and the Southwest. (Now’s a great time to live in Seattle, people.) A few more areas, like the region around the Georgia-South Carolina border threaten Heat Indices around or over 110 degrees.
Here’s President Obama’s Tweet warning Americans about the heat situation:
The President’s warning falls in line with advice from the NWS for dealing with heat: Stay indoors, drink lots of water, find local cooling centres if you don’t have access, and don’t leave children, the elderly, pets, or anyone else with limited mobility alone in a car.
We shouldn’t be surprised to see news like this in 2016. This year has already been so hot that, as Sarah Kramer reported for Tech Insider, NASA’s taken the unusual step of announcing midway through the year that there’s a “99% chance” we’re living through the hottest year on record.
Thankfully, 2017 should offer some respite with the arrival of La Niña. But that should be just a temporary break from a string of hottest years as the planet continues to warm, with devastating consequences.
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