(CTN News) – Sweltering temperatures persisted throughout Sunday across a large expanse of the central United States, bringing discomfort from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes region.
Record-breaking high temperatures were registered in Texas and several other states. Residents were advised to consume extra fluids while engaging in outdoor activities like lawn mowing or exercise and to check on their neighbors to ensure they have access to air conditioning.
The potentially adverse effects of these high temperatures, especially on individuals living alone and those limiting their use of air conditioning, were underscored by Sarah Russell, the St. Louis emergency management agency commissioner. Russell urged people to connect with their loved ones to ensure their well-being during this extreme heat.
In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, temperatures were projected to reach 110°F (43.3°C) on Sunday after hitting 108°F (42.2°C) the day before.
Meteorologist Sarah Barnes from the National Weather Service noted that the area wasn’t cooling down sufficiently during the night, heightening the risk of heat-related illnesses.
This heatwave was just the latest in a series of extreme weather events affecting the United States this year. Scientists have long cautioned that the climate crisis, driven by fossil fuel consumption, deforestation, and certain agricultural practices, would result in more frequent and prolonged extreme weather, including higher temperatures.
Global temperatures have set records in June and July, with the added challenges of smoke from wildfires, floods, and droughts creating global problems.
The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for parts of several states, including Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. Heat advisories were also in effect for other areas.
Houston experienced a continuing streak of temperatures at or above 100°F (38°C). The city had seen at least 21 consecutive days with temperatures reaching this mark. The high on Sunday was expected to reach around 106°F (41°C).
Mississippi Records Highs: Coping with Extreme Heat
In Jackson, Mississippi, temperatures reached a record high of 104°F (40°C), affecting events like the Mississippi book festival. Authorities distributed chilled water and attendees used handheld fans to cope with the heat.
The scorching conditions in Texas caused issues during the orientation for new students at Prairie View A&M University, leading to hospitalizations due to heat-related illnesses. University officials were reviewing operations to address the situation.
Iowa was also experiencing high temperatures, with forecasts indicating temperatures in the upper 90s, followed by several days where readings could surpass 100°F (37.8°C).
The heat posed concerns for the Iowa state fair; thousands were expected to attend the final day. Fair officials urged visitors to take precautions, including visiting air-conditioned buildings and staying hydrated.
St. Louis was expected to face high temperatures of 99°F (37.2°C) to 103°F (39.4°C) throughout the week, with high humidity leading to a heat index as high as 115°F (46.1°C). This would mark the most intense stretch of heat in the city since August 2014.
Similar heat was projected for Little Rock, Arkansas, prompting the opening of cooling centers for those without access to air conditioning.
Last month, the Phoenix area endured an unprecedented 31 days of daily temperatures exceeding 110°F (43.4°C). The extreme heat began in June and impacted a wide region across multiple states and set new records. In July, the continental United States experienced a record for overnight warmth, offering little respite from daytime heat and straining resources like the power grid.