Wave of heat and humidity suffocates millions of people in the United States

Wave of heat and humidity suffocates millions of people in the United States

A wave of heat and humidity in the north-central and northeastern United States a few days before the official start of summer complicated outdoor activities such as festivals and sports camps, while authorities urged people to take precautions.

Cities that opened refreshment centers this week warned that the Juneteenth holiday, which falls on Wednesday, would mean the closure of some public libraries, senior centers and swimming pools where residents could take refuge from the heat.

Dangerous temperatures were expected to be highest in the eastern Great Lakes and New England on Wednesday, and in the Ohio Valley and central Atlantic Coast on Friday and Saturday, according to the National Weather Center. Wind chills were expected to reach between 37.7 and 40.5 degrees Celsius (100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit).

People and even zoo animals had to find ways to combat the humid weather.

The city of Toledo, Ohio, canceled a weekly fitness event and a neighboring suburb canceled a street fair as temperatures hovered around 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). A food bank in upstate New York canceled deliveries Wednesday to protect its employees and volunteers.

It seemed to many that the extreme temperature had come too soon.

“It’s really hot right before summer, so I’m hoping we’re going to see a downward trend in temperature here soon, because this is pretty hot,” said Krista Voltolini, who was selling vegetables at a farmers market in Columbus.

A recent study found that climate change causes heat waves to move more slowly and affect more people for longer. The United States last year recorded its highest number of heat waves — periods of unusual heat that last more than two days — since 1936.

Chicago broke a 1957 temperature record on Monday with a high of 97°F (36.1°C). The heat would continue on Wednesday, although a cold front would bring relief to areas near Lake Michigan on Thursday and Friday, according to the Chicago office of the National Weather Service (NWS).

That relief wouldn’t come in time for the Juneteenth holiday, when all but one of Chicago’s refreshment centers would close.

“It is extremely alarming that we are reducing our refreshment centers in the middle of a heat wave,” state Rep. Lindsey LaPointe told The Chicago Sun-Times. LaPointe represents the northwest side of Chicago and advocates for people without permanent residence and other vulnerable populations.

Authorities have urged people to limit outdoor activities when possible and check on family and friends who may be vulnerable to the heat.

In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul activated the National Guard to assist in emergencies that may arise in the coming days. She also said admission and parking fees at beaches, pools and state parks would be waived Wednesday and Thursday.

In California, wildfires broke out east of San Francisco in the historic Gold Country region and the mountains north of Los Angeles County, after a quiet start to the fire season. Fires in southern New Mexico damaged 500 buildings Tuesday in a mountain town of 7,000 people that had evacuated with little time to prepare.

Meanwhile, a mass of tropical moisture increased the threat of downpours and flash flooding along the central Gulf of Mexico coast. This year’s hurricane season is expected to be among the most active in recent memory.

Connect with the Voice of America! Subscribe to our channels Youtube, WhatsApp and to the newsletter. Turn on notifications and follow us on Facebook, x and instagram.

Source link