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Widespread high temperatures will encompass majority of U.S.

Christian Fernsby |
Oklahoma recorded a high of 103 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday, according to Oklahoma Mesonet.

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The National Weather Service in the U.S. said that roughly 100 million people are under excessive heat warnings and advisories and about 60 million will see triple-digit temperatures over the next week.

That includes large portions of the southern Plains, lower Mississippi Valley, lower Ohio Valley and parts of the Tennessee Valley.

Forecasters said that more heat records across Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas were expected to be broken Wednesday.

"This is the first time in our network's history to have 120 sites hit that mark on the same day," Oklahoma Mesonet, a joint academic weather project, said in a tweet.

In Arkansas, Little Rock saw triple-digit temperatures on Tuesday for the tenth day so far this year, the NWS said. In Texas, Fort Worth recorded a high of 109 degrees, and the heat there could be even hotter on Wednesday.

The NWS says that 265 million people nationwide will experience temperatures above 90 degrees in the coming days, with some of the most intense heat in the southern Plains.

Farther west, the NWS said excessive heat is forecast in central California on Wednesday and along the Colorado River in the Southwest on Thursday and Friday.

Heat continues to be the major weather story heading into the latter half of the week, with over 100 million citizens currently located within Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories.

Even though it is mid-July and during the climatological peak of summer for most locations, well above average temperatures are making conditions even more likely to cause heat related illnesses.

A strong upper-level ridge that has dominated the weather pattern over the last several days continues to remain situated over Southwest and is forecast to stretch eastward by Friday.

Widespread high temperatures in the mid-to-upper 90s and low 100s will encompass a majority of the country on Thursday and Friday.

Relatively cooler weather is expected to be confined to the immediate West Coast and Great Lakes, where highs should reach into the 70s and 80s.

Areas most are risk for dangerous heat will be located across the Southwest, Great Basin, central and south-central U.S., coastal Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast.

Highs in these locations will near or exceed 100 degrees, with humidity east of the Rockies making it potentially feel closer to 110 degrees during the late afternoon hours.

Low temperatures will also remain quite warm and only drop into the upper 70s and low 80s, possibly breaking dozens of daily warm minimum temperature records on Thursday morning.

The scorching heat during the day combined with warm overnight temperatures can make conditions particularly dangerous for anyone spending extended time outdoors or without air conditioning.

Residents within an Excessive Heat Warning or Heat Advisory are advised to follow proper heat safety and check in on anyone who may be more vulnerable to heat related illnesses.

A cold front traversing the lower Great Lakes tonight will spark scattered thunderstorms across the Ohio Valley and into the central/southern Appalachians.

Some storms may turn severe, producing damaging wind gusts, large hail, and isolated tornadoes from southeast Michigan to Kentucky.

There is also the potential for thunderstorms to contain intense rainfall rates and repeat over parts of eastern Kentucky and adjacent areas.

A Slight Risk (level 2/4) of excessive rainfall is in effect for this area through early Thursday morning.

As the cold front progresses eastward on Thursday, the severe weather threat is anticipated to shift toward New England and farther southward into the Southeast.

Damaging wind gusts and isolated hail should remain the primary hazard, with isolated tornadoes also possible across New England.

A Slight Risk (level 2/5) of severe weather has been issued for Thursday across New England, as well as an area extending from central North Carolina to central Mississippi.

Additionally, heavy rainfall within these thunderstorms could lead to a localized flash flood threat.

Elsewhere, monsoon season is expected to continue across the Southwest and into parts of the central Great Basin/Rockies.

Isolated thunderstorms forming during the afternoon and persisting into the evening will continue to be a daily occurrence, but overall areal coverage to shrink a bit into Thursday and Friday.

Showers and thunderstorms are most likely to impact Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado during this timeframe.

Areas near recent burn scars, slot canyons, and saturated vegetation are most at risk to localized flash flooding.


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