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Record-setting temperatures forecast in Dallas as scorching heat wave continues to bake the US

by Sophia Chen
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Heatwave

Unrelenting Heat Wave Continues to Break Records Across the US, with Dallas Forecasting Record Highs

Although the summer of 2023 is nearing its end, the scorching heat shows no signs of abating. The United States is in the grip of a relentless heat wave, and this weekend, Texas, specifically Dallas, is set to experience more record-breaking temperatures. The National Weather Service predicts that both Saturday and Sunday will see highs of 109 degrees Fahrenheit (42.8 degrees Celsius) and 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 degrees Celsius) respectively in Dallas. These temperatures would surpass the existing records of 107 degrees Fahrenheit (41.7 degrees Celsius) set on the same days in 2011. This heat surge follows Thursday’s record-breaking high of 109 degrees Fahrenheit (42.8 degrees Celsius), which exceeded the previous record of 107 degrees Fahrenheit (41.7 degrees Celsius) from 1951.

Meteorologist Tom Bradshaw from the National Weather Service stated that relief from the heat is not in sight. While there’s a slight possibility of temperatures dropping below 100 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of August or around Labor Day, the first half of September could still see intermittent occurrences of temperatures surpassing 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The severe heatwave wreaking havoc in Texas this weekend is just one instance of extreme weather events that have plagued the United States this year. Scientists have long warned that climate change, driven by factors like the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and specific agricultural practices, will result in more frequent and prolonged episodes of extreme weather, including higher temperatures.

This year, both June and July witnessed record-setting global heat levels. Additionally, the effects of wildfires, floods, and droughts have led to problems on a global scale. The recent days have seen the Pacific Northwest experience record high temperatures. For example, Portland International Airport broke its daily high temperature record, reaching 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42.2 degrees Celsius) on Monday, surpassing the previous record of 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius). In Seattle, temperatures haven’t been this high for three consecutive days in 130 years of recorded weather history.

The scorching temperatures aren’t isolated to the Pacific Northwest. Last month, the Phoenix area suffered through a record-breaking 31 days of daily high temperatures exceeding 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.4 degrees Celsius). This heatwave, which began in June and extended across Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, shattered the previous record of 18 straight days set in 1974. The continental United States also set a new record for overnight warmth in July, offering little reprieve from the daytime heat, which posed challenges for humans, animals, plants, and the electrical grid.

In the midst of these extreme conditions, Waco, situated about 90 miles (145 kilometers) south of Dallas, has endured a record-matching dry spell of 49 consecutive days without rainfall since a negligible amount on July 1. Meteorologist Tom Bradshaw noted that this dry trend is likely to persist, potentially making this summer the driest on record for Waco.

Other areas are also feeling the heat. Oklahoma City is expected to match a temperature record set in 1934 with a high of 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41.1 degrees Celsius). Topeka, Kansas, is forecasted to reach 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42.2 degrees Celsius), just one degree shy of the record set in 1936. An excessive heat warning covers regions from south Texas and western Louisiana to eastern Oklahoma, eastern Kansas, and all of Missouri. Similar warnings were also issued for parts of Arkansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois, and Iowa.

Minneapolis, where the average daily high is around 81.7 degrees Fahrenheit (27.6 degrees Celsius), is anticipating a high of 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) before a cold front brings temperatures down to the mid-80s on Sunday. Southern Wisconsin is under a heat advisory for Sunday, and Indiana is expected to experience high ozone levels, impacting air quality as temperatures climb to the mid-90s by midweek. Chicago’s midweek forecast includes a high of 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius), which is 12 degrees above normal.

The intense heat has gripped most of Louisiana, with Shreveport recording temperatures as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 degrees Celsius) and New Orleans reaching 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 degrees Celsius) on Saturday. According to Megan Williams, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, residents can expect heat index values, or what it feels like outdoors, ranging from 108 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit (42.2 to 45 degrees Celsius), and potentially exceeding 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius) in some instances.

The vulnerable population segments include infants, who depend on their caregivers to keep them cool and hydrated, and individuals over the age of 65, who may lack access to air-conditioned spaces and struggle to endure high heat and humidity due to physiological changes that come with age.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an annual count of 600 to 700 heat-related deaths in the United States. However, due to varied methodologies used by over 3,000 counties to calculate heat-related deaths, the true number of such fatalities remains uncertain.

(Note: This text has been paraphrased and expanded based on the original text provided.)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Heatwave

What is the main topic of the text?

The main topic of the text is a scorching heatwave and record-breaking temperatures occurring in various parts of the United States, particularly Texas.

How are temperature records being affected?

Temperature records are being shattered, with the text highlighting examples such as Dallas, where temperatures are expected to reach 109°F and 110°F, breaking previous records.

What is contributing to the extreme weather?

The text points to factors such as climate change driven by fossil fuel emissions, deforestation, and certain agricultural practices, leading to more frequent and intense bouts of extreme weather, including higher temperatures.

What other regions have experienced extreme temperatures?

Apart from Texas, the text mentions that the Pacific Northwest experienced record high temperatures, and the Phoenix area endured a historic heatwave with 31 consecutive days above 110°F.

How are vulnerable populations affected?

Vulnerable populations, such as infants and the elderly, are at risk due to their inability to cope with extreme heat. The text emphasizes how lack of access to cooling facilities poses challenges for these groups.

How are various regions coping with the heat?

The text mentions excessive heat warnings across several states, the impact on air quality, and how cities like Minneapolis and Chicago are experiencing abnormally high temperatures.

What is the long-term concern regarding heat-related deaths?

The text discusses the challenges in accurately quantifying heat-related deaths, pointing to the varied methodologies used across counties, while reporting an annual count of 600 to 700 such deaths in the US.

What is the broader context of the text?

The text is set in the context of ongoing concerns about climate change, its impacts on extreme weather events, and the need for understanding and addressing the challenges posed by rising temperatures.

How can I stay informed about climate and environment news?

You can follow AP’s climate and environment coverage at https://bigbignews.net/climate-and-environment.

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