Severe heat leads to school closures and early dismissals

Sweltering heat has triggered a flurry of school closures and early dismissals this week across the Midwest and Northeastern United States, where a late-season heat wave could push temperatures to record highs over the next few days.

More than 50 million people are under heat warnings from Texas and Oklahoma north to Minnesota and Michigan, and in mid-Atlantic states like Virginia and Maryland across the Northeast. Forecasts in some areas indicate temperatures 15 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit above average.

Several New Jersey school districts announced half-day schedules this week, reported, while in neighboring Pennsylvania, several districts plan to close classes early or cancel classes, according to Penn Live.

On Tuesday, public schools in Detroit and Pontiac in Michigan dismissed students early, and some public schools in Southfield closed completely, the Detroit Free Press reported. Similar disruptions are taking place at schools in parts of Ohio and Maryland.

This latest heat wave comes at the end of what has been a hot summer for large parts of the United States, including most of the southern half of the country and parts of the Midwest.

Concerns have been growing among teachers and teachers’ unions about the impact of extreme heat on students’ health and ability to learn.

High temperatures on Tuesday ranged from 97 F in Kansas City and 93 F in Minneapolis to 91 F in Chicago and 92 F in St. Louis. Farther south, temperatures soared to 102 F in Dallas, 100 F in Raleigh, and 90 F in New Orleans. Cities across the Northeast are similarly sizzling, with Tuesday highs of 91 F in New York City, 94 F in Philadelphia and 99 F in Washington, D.C.

The Mount Holly, New Jersey, branch of the National Weather Service urged people to stay hydrated, limit strenuous outdoor activities, and take other precautions this week as temperatures rise.

“Simply put, the next few days are going to be very hot,” the weather service wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

This week’s heat wave comes after what it was A long, stifling weekend in parts of the country. Nearly 30 heat records were set across the country on Labor Day, and meteorologists said dozens could drop in the coming days.

Studies have shown that heat waves are becoming longer, more frequent and more intense as a result of climate change.

Relief is expected in the Midwest and Northeast by the end of the week, but sweltering heat is expected to continue across the South and Southern Plains through the weekend.

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