June 13, 2022 -- More than 65 million Americans from California to Tennessee are under heat alerts this week as a heat wave creates triple-digit temperatures across parts of the South, Southwest, and Central Plains.
Cities and states may be under a heat advisory, excessive heat watch, or excessive heat warning. Cities under heat advisories include El Paso, Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, New Orleans, and Nashville. Cities under the most extreme alert -- an excessive heat warning -- include Austin, San Antonio, Tulsa, Phoenix, and Tucson, according to CNN.
A strong cold front will move through the Southwest this week to bring the temperatures down before summer officially starts, CNN reported. But high temperatures across the Southern and Central Plains will remain high, with heat index values approaching 115 degrees F across parts of Oklahoma and Texas.
“The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible,” the National Weather Service office in Tulsa said in an excessive heat warning.
The heat will continue to build throughout the week, spreading north and east from Monday to Wednesday. Record-breaking temperatures will hit the Central Plains, Mississippi River Valley, and the South on Monday, and by Tuesday, heat advisories will extend from the Carolinas to California.
Several places broke daily high temperature records on Saturday, CNN reported, including Death Valley in California. Temperatures reached 122 degrees F, surpassing its previous June 11 record of 121 degrees in 1921.
What’s more, Roswell, NM, hit 111 degrees, beating its previous daily record of 106 degrees set in 2008. Denver International Airport also reached 100 degrees, which tied its daily record set in 2018 and tied the day for earliest in a calendar year to reach 100 degrees.
At least 140 cities could set new daily records this week, according to CNN, particularly between Denver and North Carolina. Some record temperatures could spread as far north as Michigan and Wisconsin by the middle of the week.
More than 230 million people, or 70% of the contiguous U.S., will experience temperatures of 90 or above this week. More than 45 million people will see triple-digit temperatures.
The National Weather Service has advised people to take extra precautions when spending time outside and reschedule strenuous activities to the early morning or evening when possible.