NATIONAL NEWS – Fourth of July brings record breaking heat and storms

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Zoe Mckey, Staff Writer

Heat warnings have been issued for approximately 110 million people across the country during the holiday weekend, with extreme heat expected to affect the West in the coming days. The National Weather Service (NWS) in San Francisco has warned that this heat event could persist for 6 to 12 days, marking the longest stretch of extreme temperatures in the Bay Area in at least 18 years. Several daily heat records were broken on Tuesday, with over 130 more potentially being set by next Tuesday. The NWS emphasized the severity of the situation, highlighting that heat is the leading weather-related cause of death in the U.S. and warning that this event could significantly add to that statistic if precautions are not taken.

Excessive heat warnings cover much of California, southern Nevada, and parts of Arizona, Washington, and Oregon, indicating life-threatening conditions due to prolonged heat with minimal overnight relief. Temperatures in the Bay Area reached 77 degrees with 18% humidity by 5 a.m. on Wednesday. The heat index could reach 100-115 degrees across the Plains and Southeast during the holiday period. This year has already seen record-breaking temperatures, with Miami experiencing more time at or above 105 degrees on the heat index than all of 2019. The extreme heat increases wildfire risks, with 4 million people in California under Red Flag warnings. Additionally, severe storm risks affect 13 million people in the western High Plains and Ohio River Valley, with threats of high winds, hail, and isolated tornadoes. Flash flooding is also a concern between eastern Kansas and the Ohio Valley.

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