A record-breaking heat wave is sweeping across the United States and close to 90% of the population will experience heat of at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit over the next seven days.
On Saturday alone, most of the continental US will reach 90 degree temperatures or higher.
In the last week, over 1,200 heat records and 159 July heat records were set across the country. Dozens of all-time hottest temperatures have also been recorded.
More records are expected as the heat wave stretches through the weekend and into next week.
After a relatively mild week, intense heat is expected to creep northward this weekend. Boston and New York City are expecting high temperatures in the low to mid 90s, up 15 to 20 degrees from earlier this week.
Philadelphia and Washington, DC, will see temperatures at or near 100 degrees by early next week, continuing the stretch of scorching heat in the region. An excessive heat watch is in effect for the Philadelphia area including surrounding states from Sunday to Tuesday where it will feel like up to 110 degrees.
Dulles International Airport, just outside of Washington, DC, had measured 20 consecutive days over 90 degrees as of Wednesday, challenging its all-time record of 21 days.
And Pittsburgh, which is expecting temperatures in the mid 90s this weekend, just had its longest 90 degree streak in 25 years.
The Northeast will continue to see intense heat until a cold front moves through next Thursday.
Temperatures in the 90s and feeling like 105 to 110 have prompted the National Weather Service to issue heat advisories for 35 million people across the center of the country over the next 3 days, including most of Oklahoma and parts of northern Texas.
Amarillo, Lubbock, and San Antonio – all in Texas – set their all-time July heat records over the last few days. Borger, Texas, smashed its all-time record high Saturday by hitting 116 degrees.
This weekend will not be as intense as the record-breaking heat earlier this week. However, the region will still see sweltering temperatures. Oklahoma City is expecting high temperatures in the upper 90s Friday, with Dallas expecting temperatures in the low to mid 90s this weekend.
Much of the Midwest is also under heat advisories, with the heat index anywhere from 100 to 110 degrees.
Chicago will see temperatures soar this weekend, reaching the mid 90s on Sunday. That’s 10 degrees above normal. St. Louis will see a high eclipsing 100 degrees on Sunday as Detroit will climb to the mid 90s.
Kansas City is under an excessive heat warning, with their high temperature close to 100 degrees Friday.
Much of southern Minnesota, including Minneapolis, is under an excessive heat watch Saturday. Highs will be in the low 90s and feel like 105.
The record-setting heat in the Southwest has let up slightly in some places. However, the region is still forecast to be blisteringly hot.
Phoenix ended a streak earlier this week of not dropping below 90 degrees for seven days and 22 hours, tying its all-time record. It also saw 11 straight days with a high temperature above 110 degrees.
High temperatures in Phoenix are not expected to drop below 108 degrees for at least five days.
The extreme heat is also gripping Southern California. Palm Springs, which set a daily temperature record of 121 degrees July 12, is forecast to hit 112 degrees on Sunday.
Last Sunday Death Valley hit 128 degrees, the hottest temperature on the planet since 2017.
Most of the Northwest will see above-average temperatures over the next few days. Portland will manage to avoid the hottest temperatures through Saturday. However, their temperatures will climb into the upper 80s on Sunday and lower 90s by Monday, as the intense heat moves north.
Seattle will be one of the few places in the country to avoid the heat wave and will manage to stay in the 70s and 80s next week.
The US isn’t alone. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says 2020 is on pace to be one of the three hottest years on record globally, and it is “virtually certain” (99.9%) to be among the top five.