Updated Jul 25, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Hundreds of temperature records broken as heat wave scorches the U.S.

Children cool off in the Changing Spaces fountain at Rockefeller Center during a heat wave on July 23 in New York City. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Hundreds of temperature records fell over the past week as an intense heat wave continues to blast the U.S.

The big picture: The deadly heat wave set or tied 359 daily high-temperature records over the last week, along with 709 records for the warmest overnight low temperature, according to NOAA's National Center for Environmental Information.

  • Officials reported at least two heat-related deaths in the Northeast on Sunday and warned there were likely to be more, per AP.
  • 90 million Americans were under heat warnings and advisories on Sunday.

By the numbers: In the past 30 days, 1,403 daily high-temperature records and 2,856 records for warmest overnight low temperature have been set or tied, according to NOAA.

  • The National Weather Service notes that new records were set or tied in several cities on Sunday — including Boston, Massachusetts, which reached 100°F, and Providence, Rhode Island, which hit 96°F.
  • Newark's temperature reached 100°F on Sunday afternoon, "not only a new daily record high, but now the fifth consecutive day of such temperatures" in the New Jersey city. "This is the longest streak since records began!" the NWS said.

What to watch: Widespread low temperature records were forecast to be broken across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast overnight "as lows struggle to drop below the upper 70s and low 80s," the weather service said.

  • "High temperatures are forecast to steadily rise over the next few days leading to the possibility for records to be broken," the NWS noted.

Be smart: Heat waves become particularly dangerous when overnight temperatures fail to cool down enough to provide people with relief from the heat, increasing the odds of heat-related illness.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: During the course of the week, the Central Plains will remain hot, while above-average temperatures will also move west, with the Pacific Northwest seeing unusually hot weather as well.

  • Climate change is increasing the odds and severity of extreme heat around the world. So far this summer, brutal heat has hit the Plains, including Texas, where it's exacerbating the drought situation.

What's next: "The intense heat in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic will linger one more day, the persistent heat in the south-central U.S. will last a few more days and a dangerous heat wave will build across the Northwestern U.S. this week," according to the National Weather Service.

  • "Severe storms are likely in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic on Monday. Heavy to excessive rain may produce flooding in the Four Corners region and Ohio Valley this week," the NWS added.

Go deeper: Heat waves around the world are connected, scientists say

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include details on the heat-related deaths and the latest forecast.

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