|The heatwave has seen more than 1000 temperature records set or tied so far this month [REUTERS]|
North America is still sweltering and this stifling weather is now spreading towards the east coast.
This year has already been too hot and too dry for many parts of the States. June was one of the hottest on record, with 14 states announcing that June made it into their top-ten hottest Junes on record.
The soaring temperatures have exacerbated the drought that is currently gripping parts of the nation. This has led to record wildfire activity, the estimated area which has been burnt is 5.8 million acres, the most on record for the period and almost twice the 10-year average.
The hot weather has also proved fatal, so far claiming the lives of 22 people. Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States, claiming more lives than floods, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes put together. People are being warned to watch out for signs of heat exhaustion, which can include fainting and disorientation. However, special attention should be given if someone stops sweating, as this is a sign of heat stroke, which can be deadly.
As of Wednesday morning, there were 150 million people in the United States under a heat alert. The heat wave is now stretching up towards the northeast, to affect the eastern parts of the USA and Canada. Searing heat and humidity expected to continue on Friday, affecting people who are used to a more temperate climate.
In the northeastern USA, temperatures will soar over 32C (90F), but will feel as hot as 46C (115F) when factoring in the high humidity. More record-breaking temperatures are likely to be seen in many locations, adding to the more than 1000 records that have been set or tied so far this month.
Meanwhile, the Midwest will have a slight reprieve from the heat on Thursday. A cold front will sweep across the region, and this cold front will live up to its name. Dakotas, Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan will all see a significant drop in temperature and humidity. However, the relief will be short-lived, and the temperatures across the Midwest are likely to rise again from Friday onwards.
On the other side of the Rockies there have been no such problems, in fact, June was California’s wettest June on record.
This has been welcome news across the burnt areas of the Sierra Nevadas. Even now the temperatures remain below average, with a maximum of just 26C (79F) forecast for the next few days.