Extreme heat in the US, by the numbers

Extreme heat in the US by the numbers | ltc-a

As a heat wave scorches much of the Northern Hemisphere, large portions of the United States are experiencing record temperatures and the growing danger and discomfort that comes with them.

Phoenix, one of the hottest cities in America, has never been hotter for so long. And even places not known for heat, like Northern California and Alaska, are experiencing unusually high temperatures this summer.

Here’s what the numbers tell us about the heat and how it’s affecting Americans:

  • About 90.5 million people – or 27 percent of the US population – live in areas expected to experience dangerous levels of heat Thursday, according to a New York Times analysis of US government population forecasts and data .

  • Thursday was the 21st consecutive day of rising temperatures 110 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in Phoenix. Until this year, the longest streak of more than 110 days was 18, a record set in 1974. Phoenix has reached 119 degrees up Thursday: Fourth day in a row with highs at 115 or higher.

  • Nights in Phoenix aren’t any better: Low temperatures didn’t dip below the 90s for 11 consecutive days, also a record. The bass Thursday morning it was 93 degrees.

  • El Paso has now reached triple-digit temperatures for 35 consecutive days. Wednesday’s high was 111, making it the hottest day in the city so far this year.

  • Hot weather is routine in Las Vegas, though forecasters warn temperatures there too are reaching dangerous levels this week, with concrete sidewalks reaching 144 degrees in the sun and even 126.5 degrees in the shade. The city is under a excessive heat warning through Saturday, with temperatures expected to reach 113 degrees this week.

  • In Death Valley National Park, where temperatures on the weekend came close to a world record, a 71-year-old man died on a hike on Tuesday. Although a coroner had not yet determined an official cause of death, park officials said temperatures had soared to 121 degrees that afternoon. It is potentially the second heat death in the park this month; a 65-year-old man died of apparent heat sickness on July 3rd.

  • The heat is spreading far beyond the Southwest. Record or near-record temperatures are forecast in parts of southeastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho in the near future five or six days. Boise, Idaho is expected to hit 107 degrees on Saturday.

  • High temperatures in inland parts of Northern California were projected to be about 10 degrees above average on Thursday.

  • And so were parts of Georgia, including Macon under a heat alert on Thursday. Temperatures were predicted to reach the mid-90s. The heat index, which takes into account temperature and humidity, was expected to exceed 105 degrees.

  • Smoke from Canadian wildfires continues to reach new parts of the country. Houston had an air quality index of 108 Thursday morning. A reading above 100 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, and a reading above 200 is considered unhealthy for all.

  • A weak cold front is heading into San Angelo, Texas this weekend, where the odds of Saturday’s temperature staying below 100 degrees are 24 percent. In El Paso, chances are 9 percent.

  • Austin, Texas, it reached 105 degrees on Wednesday. The city has now experienced 10 consecutive days of temperatures of 105 or higher for the first time in its recorded history.

Camillus Baker AND John Keef contributed report.