Complete News World

US Heatwave: Not Just Hot, It’s Deadly

US Heatwave: Not Just Hot, It’s Deadly

Status: 07/15/2023 11:56 am

This hot season is extreme even for South America: for example, in Arizona, temperatures above 43 degrees were measured for two weeks. Those who can stay at home or flee to so-called cold rooms.

Hotter than you can imagine. “The water from the tap is boiling hot, the walls of the house are warm, and when you open the front door in the early morning you’re greeted by warm air,” Kathryn Davies-Young says on the radio. He works at KJZZ, a radio station in Phoenix, Arizona.

38 degrees at midnight

It has been 44 degrees in his hometown for more than two weeks. Even at midnight, 38 degrees is still measured. Hospitals report many emergencies of heat-related illnesses. Patients’ body temperatures often rise to 41 degrees, which can be life-threatening, hospitalist Frank Lovecchio told NPR. “We treat them with ice as soon as possible because the brain doesn’t like these extreme temperatures.”

Extreme heat is normal for the state this time of year, but this prolonged heat wave is unusual, National Weather Service meteorologist Jacob Asherman said. Heat warnings are in place for 110 million people from California to Texas to Florida.

Climate change and El Niño

According to Asherman, the entire southern United States is affected by the so-called heat dome. “A heat dome is an area of ​​high pressure in the upper layers of the atmosphere. A heat dome traps warm air and pushes it down. The heat dome dries out, making it even hotter, and the warm air can’t. Escape, and it’ll last until next week.”

See also  EU-US Summit: An important moment in Atlantic relations

Scientists attribute the extreme heat to climate change and the El Niño weather phenomenon. The water temperature is also increasing. In the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida Keys, the ocean is 31.5 degrees Celsius—unhealthy for ecological balance.

Water, shade and regular intervals

Cities like Phoenix no longer cool due to the urban heat island effect. Since 1970, nighttime temperatures in Arizona have increased by about 6 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be life-threatening for those who don’t have air conditioning or have to work outside. Only six US states have heat regulations that protect construction workers.

Access to water, shade and regular breaks is key, Gretchen Kinsella of construction firm DPR Construction tells CNN. The city began developing a heat action plan two years ago. These include more green space, planting trees and special coats of paint to help cool buildings and streets.

“This heat wave is very intense”

Officials have requested the public not to go outside if possible. People without air conditioning, such as the homeless, take shelter in rooms known as cold rooms. Scott Johnson of the Salvation Army reports on CNN that they are now flooding the surrounding area. “They’re lifesavers. People aren’t used to this long period of heat. This heat wave is pretty extreme — even for Phoenix,” Johnson said.

A sign on one of the doors indicates that the “cooling center” is open.

Without cooling centers, the heat would be deadly, says homeless man Derek Jordan in a TV interview. If he wants to go somewhere he needs money and he doesn’t have it. Colder temperatures are not in sight for now. The heat watch shouldn’t drop until the middle of next week.

See also  VW, GM and Stellantis face billions in US fines