Are you feeling the heat? Well, you’re not alone. A heat wave — driven by the continued overheating of the planet — is shattering temperature records across the United States.
And while these extreme conditions are worse in some areas than others, temperatures are tying or exceeding their daily highs from Colorado Springs to Memphis.
In Waco, Texas, the city hit 108ºF, beating the previous heat record by about four degrees. Other Texas cities — including Austin, Dallas, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio — all tied or broke records. The fear of blackouts due to citizens blasting their air conditioning led the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to ask locals to limit their electricity use. But since air conditioning is often the only thing that makes a heat wave endurable, asking people to limit their use to aid the strained power grid puts people in a difficult situation. Once again, those without access to AC or other adequate cooling are the most vulnerable.
As heat waves plague American cities with increasing frequency, local governments are learning how better to prepare for extreme temperatures and protect their citizens through heat action plans.
Opening more cooling centers and creating better early warning advisories are two steps to protect people from this intense heat.