Deadly heat wave scorches central and eastern U.S.

Story highlights

  • Temperatures close to 100 degrees are expected across dozens of states
  • Five elderly Michigan residents died due to record heat and humidity

(CNN)Dangerously high temperatures will keep scorching the Northeast in the wake of a deadly wave of heat and humidity that has plagued the Midwest.

Heat indexes well over 100 degrees are expected across dozens of states in the nation's central and eastern portions, the National Weather Service forecasts. A heat index combines the effects of temperature and humidity on the human body.
    Temperatures also could reach the century mark Monday afternoon in New York, Philadelphia and Washington.
    Nearly 114 million people are under excessive heat watches, warnings and advisories in effect across 27 states on Sunday, CNN meteorologist Sean Morris said.
    The sweltering Midwest weather claimed the lives of a handful of people in the Detroit area over the course of three days, Roseville Police Chief James Berlin told CNN.
    Five elderly residents who had underlying health issues died as a result of the soaring temperatures, Berlin said. Residents were encouraged to stay hydrated and find an air-conditioned place to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
    Police and firefighters in the Detroit suburb of Roseville are doing their part to help residents beat the summer heat. They are offering rides to cooling centers set up at the city's recreation center and public library and distributing water to residents.
    Heat is one of the country's leading weather-related killers, and each year dozens of Americans die from overexposure to high temperatures, according to The National Weather Service.
    Heat stroke can happen very quickly after heat exhaustion settles in.
    Hot, dry and breezy conditions across the West Coast have also hampered efforts to contain the rapidly expanding Sand Fire. The fast-growing wildfire, which was only 18% contained Sunday, has consumed more than 22,000 acres.

    Warmest half-year on record

    Scientists note the record temperatures across the country could be part of a long-term global warming phenomenon. Last week NASA announced that every month in 2016 has been the hottest ever recorded.
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    Global temperatures were on average 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.4 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than average between January and June this year when compared to the late 19th century, NOAA said.