Brutal heat wave, tropical storms ravage US

Brutal heat wave, tropical storms ravage US

Nearly 150 million Americans under heat alerts; California, Texas digging out of mess from Hilary, Harold

​​​​​​​By Darren Lyn

HOUSTON, United States (AA) - Nearly 150 million Americans are under heat alerts Wednesday, with the states of California and Texas dealing with the aftermath of tropical storms Hilary and Harold.

The heat index, which combines the temperature and humidity, is making it feel like 110 Fahrenheit (43 Celsius) in the cities of Chicago, Houston and Minneapolis.

"A dome of high pressure continues to produce a sweltering heat wave with dangerous conditions across the Plains, Midwest and South," the National Weather Service (NWS) wrote on X. "More than 20% (~68.8 million) of the US population is under an Excessive Heat Warning alone."

The NWS said daily highs were expected to reach potentially monthly records in the Midwest through the end of the week, with temperature forecasts up to 20 degrees above their averages.

Meanwhile, residents in Southern California are digging out of the destruction from Tropical Storm Hilary which made landfall Sunday. Hilary was the first tropical storm to hit that region in 84 years and caused massive flooding and mudslides stretching from San Diego to Los Angeles.

Texas is still reeling from Tropical Storm Harold which made landfall Tuesday on Padre Island. Heavy rains and flash flooding caused destruction in Corpus Christi. Forecasters said the remnants of Harold could pose potentially severe weather conditions in parts of the states of New Mexico and Arizona as the storm moves inland.

Harold was the first tropical storm to make US landfall in the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which is expected to be a busy one.

Harold was one of four tropical storms to form within a 24-hour period. The other major system, Tropical Storm Franklin, made landfall Wednesday in the Dominican Republic, bringing powerful winds and heavy rainfall.

Franklin is expected to track toward Haiti, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola on Thursday where up to 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain are expected.

"Heavy rain could cause flash and urban flooding and mudslides across portions of Puerto Rico as well as in Hispaniola," said NWS.



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