65 million Americans are under heat warnings across the South
Record highs are possible in parts of Texas and Louisiana on Wednesday.
About 65 million Americans are under high temperature warnings, with a heat dome appearing over parts of the South.
Heat advisories were issued for Alabama to Kansas City on Wednesday. Excessive heat warnings are in effect for major cities in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Kansas, meaning several days of dangerous heat are expected. Throughout this region, the heat index — what the temperature looks like — is expected to reach at least 110 degrees.
Record highs were seen in multiple cities across Texas and Louisiana on Tuesday, with more high temperatures expected to impact the region on Wednesday.
In Louisiana, Baton Rouge and Lake Charles saw record highs on Tuesday, with temperatures reaching 104 and 102 degrees, respectively. Record highs are possible again in Baton Rouge on Wednesday, with the high expected to reach 100 degrees.
In Texas on Tuesday, temperatures hit triple digits in Dallas, Del Rio, State College and Victoria. Temperatures could reach record highs on Wednesday in San Antonio and State College, where highs are expected to reach 102 and 106 degrees, respectively.
Temperatures are expected to reach 110 to 115 degrees in Dallas. Austin, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; and New Orleans until at least Saturday.
The heat dome is then expected to move west into Arizona and California by the end of the week and into next week.
An extreme heat warning has already been issued for Arizona, including Phoenix. After a two-day break with temperatures below 110 degrees for the first time in a month, the high is expected to reach 110 degrees again in Phoenix on Wednesday. Temperatures in the city over the weekend are expected to reach nearly 115 degrees.
Residents of Arizona’s capital have seen weeks of temperatures reaching 110 degrees or higher, with July being the hottest month on record. The Maricopa County, Arizona, medical examiner’s office last week was beyond capacity and had to bring in refrigeration units because of a spike in deaths in July amid a record heat wave, officials said.
Triple-digit heat is also expected to spread to Sacramento later this week. Temperatures in Portland, Oregon, are expected to reach the mid-90s.
Elsewhere, seven states – from Utah to Kentucky – declared flood alerts on Wednesday due to heavy rains. Some areas could see isolated storms bringing several inches of rain that could lead to flooding.
St. Louis is expected to be the center of attention for heavy rainfall that could cause flash flooding. The additional rain comes after parts of Missouri saw more than a half-foot of rain fall in eight hours on Tuesday, flooding roads and streets.
Severe weather is also expected from Nebraska to Illinois on Wednesday and Thursday. Damaging winds and hail are likely to be the biggest threats, although an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.