© 2021
In touch with the world ... at home on the High Plains
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Temperature records are shattered as extreme heat grips the West and East coasts

A worker adjusts his helmet on a construction site under the sun as southern California faces a heat wave, in Los Angeles, on Wednesday.
Etienne Laurent
AFP via Getty Images
A worker adjusts his helmet on a construction site under the sun as southern California faces a heat wave, in Los Angeles, on Wednesday.

Updated July 07, 2024 at 02:07 AM ET

Extreme heat continues to inflict wide swaths of the U.S. This weekend, the brunt of the hot temperatures is falling on the West Coast and parts of the East Coast.

In total, over 132 million people were under some form of a heat warning as of Saturday evening, according to Heat.gov.

"These conditions will be extremely dangerous and potentially deadly if not taken seriously," the National Weather Service said on Saturday.

Human-caused climate change is fueling longer and more intense heat waves, and making dangerously high temperatures more common.

Record heat across the West Coast

The West Coast is covered with heat warnings this weekend and felt record high temperatures on Saturday.

In northwest and west central Oregon, including Portland, temperatures are forecast to stay between 100 to 105 degrees through Tuesday night. The heat is expected to stay warm overnight, limiting chances to recover from the heat, the NWS said.

Several locations in Oregon shattered records by more than 5 degrees, topping out at 112 degrees in Medford, breaking the previous high of 104 set in 1922.

Further south, more records were set or tied in Arizona, California and Nevada on Saturday.

Kingman, Ariz., broke its daily high temperature record by 1 degree at 109 degrees. Death Valley, Calif., also broke its daily record by 1 degree with a reading of 128, 2 degrees below its all-time high of 130. And Las Vegas tied its daily high of 115 degrees.

In Santa Barbara, Calif., extreme heat was coupled with large plumes of smoke from the Lake Fire that began Friday. More than 12,000 acres have been burned as of Saturday afternoon, according to CalFire.

Sweltering temperatures take hold across the East

On the East Coast, heat advisories span from upstate New York all the way down to south Florida this weekend.

Major cities like Philadelphia and Trenton, N.J., were under excessive heat warnings through Saturday night, with heat indexes forecast to reach 106 degrees, according to NWS.

In Maryland, along the Chesapeake Bay, heat indexes were expected to reach 110 degrees on Saturday. Baltimore and Washington, D.C., were both under excessive heat warnings, the NWS said.

Across the south, heat indexes reached over 100 degrees on Saturday. Parts of southeast Alabama, Florida's Panhandle and south Georgia were expected to see heat indexes reach 111 degrees.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Juliana Kim
Juliana Kim is a weekend reporter for Digital News, where she adds context to the news of the day and brings her enterprise skills to NPR's signature journalism.