Extreme Weather Sweeps Across South-West and West, Urgent Warning to ‘Take Heat Seriously’ as Phoenix Temperature Soars to 118F

Millions of Americans are facing extreme heat advisories this weekend, with officials warning that conditions may get worse in Arizona, California, and Nevada. The south-west and parts of the west have been hit the hardest, prompting the National Weather Service to caution residents to take the heat seriously and avoid spending time outdoors without effective cooling and hydration. Phoenix, Arizona, is expecting a scorching temperature of 118F (47.7C) on Sunday, marking the city’s 17th consecutive day with temperatures of 110F (43.3C) or higher. With 18 days being the current record from 1974, it is likely that Phoenix will surpass that on Tuesday.

Heat-related deaths in the Phoenix area have been a cause for concern, with 12 already reported this year and an additional 55 currently under investigation, according to the Maricopa County Health Department. The record-breaking heat is expected to persist throughout the week, as stated by the National Weather Service Phoenix. Officials are focused on protecting the most vulnerable residents in affected areas, increasing access to cooling centers and implementing measures to safeguard outdoor workers.

In Maryland, the first heat-related death of 2023 was reported on July 13th, as temperatures reached the mid to upper 90s. While parts of the United States grapple with extreme heat, the northeast has been hit by flooding. AP News reported that a flash flood in Pennsylvania claimed the lives of three people, with four others, including a baby, reported missing.

Lawmakers and officials were questioned about the heatwave and the climate crisis on Sunday’s politics TV shows. Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona, speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, responded to suggestions of financial assistance from Fema for states facing extreme heatwaves. He acknowledged the possibility, emphasizing the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, also on CNN, discussed the global response to the climate crisis and addressed China’s role. He mentioned that every country, including China, has a responsibility to reduce emissions, and encouraged China to take more dramatic action.

As extreme weather conditions persist across the United States, the urgency to combat climate change becomes increasingly crucial. The record-breaking heatwaves and the devastation caused by flooding highlight the need for immediate action. Efforts to mitigate the impact of heatwaves on vulnerable populations and protect outdoor workers are commendable, but there is a collective responsibility to address the root causes of these extreme weather events. Transitioning to clean energy and reducing carbon emissions are essential steps in combating the climate crisis and ensuring a sustainable future.