Unprecedented heatwave that could exceed 50°C threatens summer on the US West Coast

Unprecedented heatwave that could exceed 50°C threatens summer on the US West Coast
Unprecedented heatwave that could exceed 50°C threatens summer on the US West Coast

An extremely dangerous and unusually long heat wave is intensifying and spreading across the West Coast of the United States, with no letup expected for the next few days.

California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Arizona are preparing for possible wildfires, opening cooling centers and warning residents to stay indoors and hydrate. Temperatures are expected to reach between 37 and 43 degrees Celsius, with possible highs of 49 degrees Celsius in the desert southwest, according to CNN.

The situation is particularly critical in places like Death Valley in California, which could reach 50 degrees Celsius, and Las Vegas in Nevada, where a record high of 47 degrees Celsius is expected. According to the National Weather Service in Portland, this heat wave could last for several days, increasing the risk of heat-related illnesses.

The impact of this extreme heat is already visible. In San Jose, California, a 69-year-old homeless man died Tuesday, and in Arizona, a 10-year-old boy died after a heat-related emergency while hiking. The National Weather Service in Los Angeles is reminding residents to take precautions: drink plenty of water, stay in the shade, wear light clothing and never leave anyone in a car.

a peak expected this weekend

High temperatures will likely peak on Saturday. In California, temperatures of 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) are becoming common, even outside of coastal areas and higher elevations. The National Weather Service warns that these heat levels could pose a serious risk to those who do not follow proper safety precautions.

Nationwide, nearly 140 million people are under heat alerts, mostly in Western states, where the heat wave is expected to last through the middle of next week.

Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Richard Bruno expressed concern for the thousands of people attending music festivals and sporting events this weekend. Those individuals may spend a lot of time outdoors without adequate access to shade and water.

In 2021, a similar heat wave ravaged Oregon, killing dozens and causing power outages. While the current wave is not as intense, its long duration is concerning. Meteorologist Noah Alviz of the National Weather Service in Portland noted that temperatures of 90 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit for four to five days is highly unusual for the region.

increased risk of forest fires

Extreme heat, combined with high winds and low humidity, is also increasing the risk of wildfires. Red flag warnings are in effect across the West, including in the area of ​​the Thompson Fire in California, which has already burned more than 3,500 acres and forced thousands to evacuate.

As the West swelters under this heat wave, high temperatures and oppressive humidity are moving eastward, hitting the mid-Atlantic and southeast by the end of the week. Heat alerts are being issued in these regions, with maximum temperatures ranging from 35 to 41°C, and heat index values ​​reaching as high as 46°C.

In view of this situation, residents of the affected areas are urged to remain vigilant and take all necessary precautions to protect themselves from the extreme heat.

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