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NOAA heat wave forecast map for Wednesday, June 19, 2023

A heat wave that has scorched the Middle East, northern Africa and Europe has spread to the United States, where Americans are being warned to keep their air conditioners on and drink plenty of water.

Dangerous levels of heat were in the forecast for the southern and western regions of the US, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


“The world just sweltered through its hottest June in the 174-year global climate record,” the NOAA reported on its website. “Additionally, Earth’s ocean surface temperature anomaly — which indicates how much warmer or cooler temperatures are from the long-term average — were the highest ever recorded,” according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

One third of the country was placed under heat alerts and warned about record-breaking temperatures that could top 110 degrees Fahrenheit due to a cap of extra-hot air — known as a heat dome — that has settled over the West and South.

The first-ever excessive heat warning was issued in southern Florida, where a combination of heat and humidity was poised to send Miami’s heat index spiralizing as high as 112 degrees Fahrenheit — possibly a record.

Desert areas of southern California, Nevada and Arizona were expected to reach between 115 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to the US Global Change Research Program, heat waves are occurring more often — from an average of two heat waves per year in the 1960s — to more than six per year during the 2020s, with the average heat wave season across 50 major cities standing at 49 days longer than it was 60 years ago.

This weekend, the heat wave is affecting more than 100 million Americans in 15 states and is expected to last through most of the week.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.