As parts of the northeast United States prepare for even more rainfall and possible flooding, much of the West and South are experiencing massive heat waves that are predicted to break records this weekend.

Almost 70% of Americans are expected to experience temperatures of 90 degrees or above over the next week. Over 6% will experience temperatures of 100 degrees or above, CNN reports.

Historic floods strike the Northeast, wreaking havoc, forcing evacuations

The predicted heat spike led the National Weather Service to issue extreme heat alerts for over 112 million people, mostly in the Southwest, Thursday, per The Associated Press. Some of the highest temperatures are expected in parts of Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas, with triple-digit temperatures in each of those states.

“Numerous near record-tying/breaking warm lows are expected,” the NWS warned. “Unfortunately, the long term outlook through the weekend and into next week is for an increasingly significant and oppressive heat wave.”

Record-breaking heat

The heat waves have set some states on track to beat, or at least tie, local temperature records across the country.

Phoenix, Arizona for example, has had 12 consecutive days at 110 degrees or above so far. If the trend continues, the city will beat the record for the longest streak, which was set in 1974 after 18 consecutive days, according to CNN.

Las Vegas is expected to tie its record of 117 degrees on Sunday and Monday, The Washington Post reported. Meanwhile, Death Valley, California, could reach 130 degrees, matching the record set in 2021 for the “highest reading ever reliably recorded worldwide.”

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These “potentially broken records are a clear sign of the effects of climate change,” a report from Newsweek reads.

How to stay safe during a heat wave

Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to stay cool during a heat wave:

  • Wear appropriate clothing.
  • Stay cool indoors.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Do not leave children in car.
  • Avoid hot and heavy meals.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
From babies to teens, how to keep kids safe in record-breaking heat

Parents should also know how to keep their kids safe during a heat wave:

“Parents need to be especially careful about the heat as children react differently to high temperatures than adults do,” Mya Jaradat wrote in the Deseret News. As Jaradat notes, it’s easier to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke than to deal with the effects.

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