A deadly heatwave that has been brewing in the U.S. Southwest since spring is expected to spread to several other states, with multiple heat warnings issued.
The heatwave, which saw Arizona’s capital Phoenix record extreme temperatures of 45.5 degrees Celsius (114 degrees Fahrenheit) on Sunday, is expected to spread to the central and eastern parts of the country in the final week of July.
The National Weather Service has issued heat warnings and advisories for 13 states, including some California, TexasUtah, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, and the southern tip of Florida.
Temperatures in the southwest of the country are currently fluctuating between the mid-30s and early 40s.
At least four tourists have died in the Southwest from the heat since early June, the National Park Service reported.
Some cities have already braced for the heat, including Phoenix, where crews from the city’s heat response program prepared cooling kits, manned water stations and distributed water bottles to the homeless.
In Maricopa County, Arizona, at least 12 people have died from the heat since the warmer months began in April. More deaths are being investigated to determine if the heat was related, the county reported.
California’s Death Valley is no stranger to heat, where a 71-year-old man collapsed to his death in 49.4C (121F) temperatures last Tuesday.
The tourist hotspot marks the lowest point in the United States and holds the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth at 56.7 degrees Celsius (131.1 degrees Fahrenheit).
Temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sunday, federal forecasters said.
A concentrated ball of heat known as a “thermal dome” caused the extreme temperatures.
El Niño is another factor.this weather cycle Bringing the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean to the west coast of the United States could lead to droughts and other extreme events such as hurricanes around the world.
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Thermal expansion will happen as the world record Hottest June on record.
For the first time on record, Earth’s average temperature is more than 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial times, according to the European Union’s Copernicus climate change Services (C3S).