Sunday, July 24, 2011

Heatwave breaks records in parts of US and Canada

For the climate skeptics: One New Yorker says being outside is like "sitting in a sauna all day long"

A heatwave has baked eastern parts of the US and Canada, as temperatures surged to record-breaking highs in some parts.

The mercury in Newark, New Jersey, reached 108F (42C) on Friday, the highest ever recorded in the city.

In Canada, an extreme heat alert remained in effect, a day after two dozen cities and towns broke their previous single-day heat records.

At least 22 deaths have been blamed on the heat.

Across the US alone, where nearly half of the population was under a heat advisory, more than 220 heat records have tumbled. Many regions in the central US and parts of the eastern seaboard have seen heat indexes - a combination of temperature and humidity - topping 43C.

This is the weather forecast for North America.
Airports near Washington and Baltimore hit 40.5C (105F); Boston 39.5C (103F); Portland, Maine, and Concord, New Hampshire, 38.5C (101F); and Providence, Rhode Island, 38C (100F).

Philadelphia - where bathers at public swimming pools were asked to leave every half hour to allow a new crowd to enjoy a cooling dip - saw temperatures of 40C (104F).

New York City also hit 40C, just a degree short of its all-time high, although with the oppressive humidity, it felt like 45C (113F).

As New Yorkers roasted in the heat, health officials warned them to stay out of the water at four beaches on New York Harbor after a sewage treatment plant damaged by fire began pumping raw waste into the Hudson River.

Several hundred homes and businesses in New York were hit with temporary blackouts.

Voltage was reduced in several neighbourhoods in the city and suburbs to keep underground cables from overheating.

Teenager dies
On Friday, the medical examiner's office in Chicago listed heat stress or heat stroke as the cause of death for seven people. An 18-year-old landscape gardener who died on Thursday night in Louisville, Kentucky, had a temperature of 43C (110F), a coroner said. More >>>

Location: Cayman Islands