Heat wave scorches southern US as temperature records keep falling
Los Angeles, California - A dangerous heat wave is stretching over southern US states as temperature records continue to fall from Texas to Tampa Bay.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued excessive heat warnings for the southern and central regions of the Golden State, with temperatures expected to hit up to 112 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of Los Angeles County this week.
"Plan ahead so you can stay safe in the heat! Make sure your animals have access to shade and water! Never leave kids or pets in a parked car!" NWS tweeted.
It comes after world daily temperature records were smashed on three days last week, according to preliminary data.
On July 6 the planet's average surface temperature was 17.23C, an unofficial record that surpassed measurements on July 3, according to the University of Maine's Climate Reanalyzer tool, which uses a combination of observations and computer modeling. This record is expected to fall again and again throughout a torrid summer.
Climate scientists are sounding alarm about the impact of human-caused global warming, and warning 2023 is on track to be the warmest since records began.
Heat waves in mutiple states smash temperature records
In Texas, which is experiencing a prolonged "heat dome" in which warm air is trapped in the atmosphere like a convection oven, the city of El Paso has officially broken the record for most consecutive 100-degree days, according to the NWS. The number is now 24, beating a prior streak of 23 days set in 1994.
Daily temperature records have also fallen across the country, from Tampa Bay in Florida to Tucson, Arizona.
Global surface temperatures have increased by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, making dangerous heat more frequent.
At the same time, other extreme weather events are also becoming more common, with northeastern states currently pummeled by storms and flooding that have led to a state of emergency being declared in Vermont.
UPDATE, July 12, 8:00 AM EDT: High temperatures expected in Northwest
The sizzling heat affecting much of the southern US is about to stretch into the Pacific Northwest too, according to the NWS Weather Prediction Center.
Temperatures as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit are expected in Oregon, but the hottest areas continue to be concentrated in the Southwest.
"The heat will begin to build into the Great Basin and interior California on Thursday, with highs rising into the mid-90s to low 100s," an advisory said, adding that more record-breaking temperatures are expected in Texas later this week.
Extreme heat is the deadliest weather hazard in the US, according to official data, with the elderly, the very young, people with mental illness, and chronic diseases at highest risk.
Cover photo: Frederic J. BROWN / AFP