Dangerous heat wave pushing eastward, capping record July; Gainesville hit 95 yesterday


An intensifying heat wave descended on the eastern United States on Thursday, prompting warnings about the dangers presented by the sweltering heat and humidity in the final days of a record-smashing July around the world.

The high in Gainesville was 95, the hottest of the season so far this season and a high of 94 is forecast today. But we do have a 60 percent chance of rain. And the long-range outlook calls for highs in the low- to mid-90s for the next 10 days.

Meanwhile, some 180 million Americans – about half of the country’s population – are under heat watches and warnings, with temperatures and heat index values well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit  in the forecast until at least Saturday, the National Weather Service said.

Officials in New York City, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and other big cities urged people to avoid working or playing outside, to drink plenty of fluids and to check on loved ones and neighbors.

“The next four days will be extremely hot – take care of yourself and the people around you,” Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said on X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter. The nation’s capital was expected to see the heat index, a measure of what the temperature feels like to the human body, reach 107 degrees F.

In Philadelphia, officials declared a health heat emergency until Saturday and created a phone help line for the elderly, opened cooling centers and increased homeless outreach.

Cooling centers have also been opened across New York City for those who do not have access to air conditioning. The heat index could reach 103 degrees F on Friday in the most populous U.S. city.

Thermometer in the sky, the heat