Brutal and dangerous temperatures are being felt from California to Massachusetts, with more than 120 million Americans under extreme heat warnings or advisories. The National Weather Service said more than 60 new record highs would be set in 20 states by the end of the week.
As temperatures soared into the triple digits, Hoover Dam experienced a major lightning strike when a transformer explosion sent a smoke bill. The dam supplies electricity to California, Nevada and Arizona.
West of Dallas, a fierce heat-fueled wildfire burned several homes as temperatures reached 111 degrees. According to officials, about 10% of the blaze had been brought under control by Tuesday evening, engulfing 4,000 acres.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, 85 major fires were burning more than three million acres in 13 states as of Tuesday.
Texas infrastructure is also being impacted in the triple digits in twenty-four days. Drought conditions are causing land to slip away, breaking water lines. Of the nearly 500 breaks in Fort Worth this year, about 40% have happened in the last month.
So far, the fragile Texas power grid is keeping pace with record demand as customers continue to appeal to save electricity.
Meteorologists say the weather pattern is stuck, creating hot and dry conditions in the north and creating droughts that indicate warmer temperatures, resulting in some parts of California, Arizona and the Central Plains. The parts are buried under the heat dome.
“We’re definitely seeing more extreme weather because of climate change,” Sarah Barnes, a meteorologist with the Fort Worth National Weather Service Office, told CBS News. “This drought caused us to go into summer much earlier than we would normally see.”
In heat like this, paramedics say you could be in trouble in just a few minutes. On Monday, 14 people were taken to hospital in Fort Worth, one of whom is in critical condition. The biggest mistake people make in summer is not drinking enough water.
The US isn’t the only place melting under a heatwave. BritainThe highest temperature ever recorded was recorded with 34 locations across the country breaking the previous high.
Rare wildfires erupted in London as it was on its hottest day since record-keeping began. Across the country, train tracks were caught in the heat and service was slowed or cancelled.
Meanwhile, Spain suffered at least 30 blasts. In France, firefighters struggle to contain wildfires burning an area twice the size of Paris. There have been more than 1,000 heat-related deaths in Portugal.
Remi Inocencio contributed reporting.