Americans Swelter in Heat Wave | God's World News

Americans Swelter in Heat Wave

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    Hunter Van Dyne wipes sweat from his forehead as he prepares to open Powder Monkey Fireworks in Weldon Spring, Missouri, on June 17, 2024. (AP/Jeff Roberson)
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    Workmen with the Architect of the Capitol office work on a park irrigation system at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on June 18, 2024. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
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Stifling heat blanketed a segment of the United States, from Iowa to Ohio, this week, affecting tens of millions of people. High temps forced humans and even zoo animals to find ways to cool down.

Extreme heat alerts stretched across the Midwest. Chicago broke a 1957 temperature record Monday with a high of 97º. Even the upper reaches of Michigan saw higher-than-usual readings on Tuesday. The National Weather Service says the dangerous heat wave will likely make its way across the country and into Maine until at least Friday.

Local Matters Veggie Van, a business that provides fresh produce in Columbus, Ohio, prepared frozen towels for its workers and packed cold water to help staff stay hydrated.

“Hydration is the key,” says manager Monique McCoy.

In Toledo, Ohio, the city canceled a weekly fitness event. A neighboring suburb called off a street fair. A food bank in upstate New York cut Wednesday deliveries out of concern for its staff and volunteers.

Schools in New York canceled field trips to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse on Tuesday. Workers there used water misters to cool visitors and the animals. Elephants and other animals received chunks of ice in their pools, says Ted Fox, the zoo’s executive director.

“Even the tigers love to lick the ice and put their heads on [the blocks] when it’s this warm,” says Fox.

Several Ohio cities advised that some public libraries, senior centers, and pools—places residents could beat the heat—would be closed on Wednesday because of the Juneteenth holiday.

The blast of extreme temperatures before the official start of summer came a little too early for many.

Krista Voltolini sells produce at a farmer’s market in Columbus. “This is hot for just moving into summer,” she says. “So I’m hoping that we’re going to see the downward trend in the temperature here soon.”

Researchers say that recent heat waves are moving slowly and affecting more people for longer periods. Heat waves are abnormally hot weather lasting more than two days. Last year, the United States saw the most heat waves since 1936.

Much of the Midwest and Northeast has been under heat warnings or watches. Officials urged people to limit outdoor activities when possible and to check in with family members and neighbors who may be vulnerable to the heat. In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul activated the National Guard to assist in any heat emergencies that develop over the next several days.

The hot and muggy conditions will continue this week, according to the National Weather Service.

In addition to “heat waves,” meteorologists are also talking about “heat domes.” What’s the difference? A heat dome is what’s happening in the atmosphere. A heat wave is how that affects people on the ground.

When a high-pressure system of air develops in the upper atmosphere, it causes the air below it to sink and compress. That raises temperatures in the lower atmosphere. Because hot air expands, it creates a bulging dome.

At the other end of the spectrum, while much of the country swelters, the northern Rockies could see some late-season snow. Parts of Montana and north-central Idaho had winter storm warnings. Weather watchers predicted as much as 20 inches of snow for higher elevations around Glacier National Park.

And along the central Gulf Coast, tropical moisture brings the threat of heavy rain and flash flooding.

While we take precautions to protect ourselves and others, we need not fear extreme heat, rain, or snow. For whatever the weather, the gracious Creator-God controls all things.

We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. — Romans 8:28