Heat wave sizzles US Midwest, East Coast

Large portions of the US have been stricken by a heat wave. (Reuters pic)

SILVER SPRING: Sweltering temperatures of up to 37°C will blister parts of the US Midwest and East Coast on Monday and sizzle at least through the Independence Day holiday on Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

More than 113 million Americans are under heat warnings or advisories stretching from the Mississippi Valley up to Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Boston, Baltimore, and Washington D.C., said Patrick Burke, a meteorologist with the NWS Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

“Hot is the only word for it,” Burke said.

The first heat wave in the eastern US might bring record hot temperatures to Syracuse, New York, which might top 37°C on Monday, Burke said.

Cities from St. Louis to New York, Chicago, and Boston will be in the mid-30s, but the humidity will push the heat index up, making it feel like 37°C to 41°C, he said.

Baltimore and Albany might hit 37°C, he said.

“It’s going to be a hot week everywhere east of the Rockies,” Burke said. “At-risk populations should definitely seek cool shelter.”

The hot weather is dangerous for young children, the elderly, and people with health problems.

Don’t expect much relief overnight for the next few days as nighttime lows might not dip below 27°C, the weather service said.

A bubble of high pressure air floating over northern Tennessee is to blame, he said, locking the hot air in a large swath of the eastern US, Burke said.

Cities across the region from the Mississippi River to the East Coast have set up cooling centres to keep people out of the dangerous heat.