A deadly heatwave spreading across central and eastern America is expected to become more severe, forecasters have warned.
– Deadly heatwave spreading across US to become more severe (Telegraph, July 22, 2011):
The authorities issued heat alerts for more than half the 50 states as a blanket of hot air smothered the country, leaving at least 20 people dead.
“The dangerous heatwave continues across much of the central and eastern United States, with excessive heat and humidity expected to expand into the Ohio Valley and East Coast states for the remainder of the week,” the National Weather Service said on its website.
The heatwave, dubbed “the big broil”, has left states from Texas to Michigan sweltering in temperatures above 100F (37C). Some cities have also been engulfed in smog.
On the East Coast, humidity was assaulting Washington. In Maryland, near the US capital, officials reported temperatures of 108F (42C).
The heatwave is estimated to cover a million square miles, affecting 141 million Americans.
In Oklahoma City, forecasters said the city has experienced 27 days this year of triple digit temperatures.
Things were so bad in the town of Enid, Oklahoma, that the asphalt at a busy intersection crumbled in the heat.
Cities including Chicago and Detroit have opened cooling centres. In Omaha, Nebraska, one amusement park owner had to put two tons of ice cubes into his swimming pools to lower the water’s temperature to 82F (28C).