More than 20 million Americans in 16 states were on heat alert Wednesday as cities across the country reported daily record temperatures, with the worst of the sweltering heat hitting the South and the Great Plains.
Atlanta, Georgia tied its June 22 record with 98 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday while about 80 miles south, Macon set a new heat record for the day with 105 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Zoo Atlanta announced on its website that it will close early Wednesday and Thursday due to “extremely high heat indices.” Zoo care teams will monitor and check all animal habitats multiple times throughout the day to ensure their safety, zoo spokeswoman Rachel Davis told TAUT.
Nashville recorded its first 100-degree day for the first time in nearly a decade, according to the weather service. The city also broke its temperature record for the June 22 date, reporting 101 degrees shortly before 3 p.m., the service said.
At least a dozen high temperature records have been tied or broken across the eastern United States, from Arkansas to the Carolinas to New York.
Part of the widespread extreme weather conditions
This is the second heat wave in as many weeks for many parts of the country. A huge heat dome across the eastern United States and the Midwest created record high temperatures in several cities last week. And other parts of the country have faced extreme weather conditions, including historic flooding, wildfires and severe storms.
And there is no relief in sight.
Heat in the south and plains is expected to continue to increase over the next few days, with much of the region expected to see more records, the service said.
About 65% of the US population will see temperatures above 90 degrees over the next week, and nearly 55 million people will experience sweltering temperatures or above 100.
New Orleans officials have warned the heat index could reach 115 degrees this week, and the city has set up multiple cooling shelters.
The region was feeling the heat on Wednesday. By afternoon, Pascagoula and Slidell had both reached 100 degrees, while thermometers in Baton Rouge and Gulfport registered 98 degrees, the New Orleans Weather Service said on Twitter.
At least five people have died
At least five people died of heat-related causes last week – four in Georgia and one in Tennessee.
Southern power companies polled by TAUT earlier said they were prepared for this week’s heat wave.
“This is our ‘Super Bowl’ that we’ve been preparing for all year,” Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) spokesman Scott Fiedler said in a statement to TAUT. “TVA is extremely well positioned to meet electricity demand during the hot weather this week. As you know, temperature and load go hand in hand. So we should see high loads the rest of this week.
At least a dozen high temperature records were tied or broken in the eastern United States during the latest heat wave that appeared first on TAUT.