Extreme Heat, Thunderstorms, and Record-Breaking Temperatures: Weather Highlights Across the US | Wayne Dupree

Extreme Heat, Thunderstorms, and Record-Breaking Temperatures: Weather Highlights Across the US | Wayne Dupree

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A heat advisory, flood warning, or watch is in effect for nearly 200 million Americans, or 60% of the country’s total population, as high temperatures continue to spread and severe storms are predicted for new areas.

The Northeast and mid-Atlantic will continue to experience “dangerous” heat waves through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. Parts of the Northeast and South, New England, and South Florida could experience strong thunderstorms and flash floods. The Southwest and Midwest will continue to experience a run of record-breaking temperatures in the meantime.


According to Bob Oravec, chief forecaster at the Weather Prediction Center of the National Weather Service, “it’s (hitting) all the big cities.” The population (affected) is so large because of this.

Scientists have long warned that the use of fossil fuels is causing climate change, which will result in more and longer periods of extreme weather.

The forecast for continued extreme heat comes a day after the World Meteorological Organization and the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service dubbed July 2023 the hottest month ever.

Major East Coast cities like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City experienced real feels above 37.8 degrees Celsius on Thursday due to heat and humidity. With temperatures 5.5 to 8 degrees Celsius above average on Friday, forecasters anticipate several records to be broken.

Communities in New England are preparing for the “dual threats” of extreme heat and flash floods, as Oravec described them.

He explained, “You could have really intense heat for a significant portion of the day and then get a strong thunderstorm that produces heavy rains and then can produce flooding.”

The southern Plains and the Southwest are still experiencing record-breaking heat. There, the stifling heat has been engulfing the area for weeks. One New Mexico-based meteorologist referred to the extended period of above-average temperatures as unprecedented.

Oravec predicted that they “probably won’t have a lot of sympathy for the rest of the country.”

Two of the country’s biggest power grids are under strain as a result of the intense heat, which may hinder Americans’ ability to cool off.

On Wednesday, PJM Interconnection, the nation’s largest power grid, issued a level one energy emergency alert for its 13-state grid, indicating that it is concerned about its capacity to produce enough electricity.

According to Jeffrey Shields, a spokesman for the company, “PJM currently has enough generation to meet forecast demand, but operators continue to monitor the grid conditions for any changes.”

Not just PJM but other electrical grids have sent out similar alerts. On Thursday, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, which primarily serves the Midwest and Northern Plains, issued a similar alert.

In addition, the California Independent System Operator issued an energy emergency alert for Wednesday night, in part because of the extreme heat in Southern California, but it was only in effect for that day. A CAISO spokesperson, Anne Gonzales, stated that they anticipate being able to meet demand within the coming days.


Additionally, a representative for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees the majority of Texas, stated that they anticipate their grid to continue operating normally throughout this most recent wave of extreme weather across the nation.

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