Records set to fall as 'dangerous' heatwave hits US

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Temperature records could fall as a “widespread and dangerous” heatwave descends on central and eastern parts of America.

The National Weather Service is predicting high temperatures and humidity across several states, including Michigan and Kansas, while Washington DC will feel almost as hot as Death Valley in California.

The capital will bake in a forecast high of 38C (100F), but it will feel closer to 43C (110F) – prompting mayor Muriel Bowser to declare a heat emergency.

Image: Children play at a fountain in the Columbia Heights neighbourhood of Washington DC

Her Philadelphia and New York counterparts have followed suit, with hundreds of cooling centres to be set up in the latter to help people cope.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio said: “Extreme heat is dangerous, period. I urge all New Yorkers to exercise caution this weekend as temperatures near 100F (38C). We are deploying all resources at our disposal to ensure New Yorkers remain safe and cool during extreme heat.”

The heatwave is expected to peak on Friday and Saturday, but has already had an impact in some parts.

In Shawnee, Oklahoma, a road buckled under the heat – and in Chicago cooling centres like those planned for New York have already been opened.

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Philadelphia in Pennsylvania is one of the most likely to set a new record high.

The city has never experienced the mercury going higher than 36C (97F), but it has been tipped to hit 38C (100F).

A very good boy named Keith enjoys the hot weather in Boston, Massachusetts

Image: Keith enjoys the hot weather in Boston, Massachusetts

Other east coast cities that could see records fall are Atlantic City in New Jersey and Richmond in Virginia, which could both record triple-figure temperatures for the first time.

Meteorologist Jim Hayes, of the National Weather Service, said: “It will be about as sweltering as it gets in some places in the eastern and central US.

“We’re really more concerned about the combination of high temperatures and high humidity causing people stress, because it’s more difficult to cool yourself down when there’s moisture in the air.”

People cool off in Washington Square Park, New York, as temperatures begin to climb

Image: People cool off in Washington Square Park, New York, as temperatures begin to climb

In total, more than 130 million Americans are under a heat watch, warning or advisory due to the incoming heatwave, which will still make its presence felt well after the sun has set.

Sky News weather producer Joanna Robinson said: “It is the very high temperatures and humidity together that is of concern – heat index values give a ‘feels like’ temperature and that will be 100F (38C) to 110F (43C) for a large area over the weekend.

“There will also be little relief at night.”

Western Europe may also be set for another heatwave of sorts.

While temperatures will stay well below the unprecedented highs seen last month, they are on the rise.

Heat is also building briefly for the UK early next week.

It will turn hot for parts of the UK on Tuesday, especially central, southern and eastern England, where temperatures are likely to reach the low 30s.

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