A devastating heat wave is sweeping across Texas and the South this week. It affects millions of Americans. Triple digit temperatures and high humidity are on the rise. Temperature indexIn some parts of the region, temperatures can reach over 110 degrees.
But forecasters say that there is a more dangerous aspect to this heat wave, and it is becoming more common due to the climate crisis: the temperature of one night is not cooling enough, which gives little relief from the oppressive heat – especially for those who are sick, you do not have access to air conditioning.
The National Weather Service said in a statement on Monday that forecasters at the National Weather Service’s Center for Weather Forecasts said: “The potential for a more dangerous than normal heat event, as it could be the longest or highest on record, underscores the insidious nature of this week’s heat wave.” Nighttime low and high heat index readings.
Nighttime temperature records are expected to exceed daytime records this week. Afternoon high temperature records of 90 could be broken from Texas to the Mississippi Valley and parts of Florida, according to data from the National Weather Service.
But overnight temperatures will remain unusually high, with 180 overnight records set to be broken over the next seven days.
“As the day warms up, there is more moisture in the air, which holds the heat,” said Lisa Patel, the organization’s executive director Medical Association Coalition on Climate and HealthHe told CNN. “During the day, that moisture reflects the heat, but at night, it traps the heat.”
Nighttime overheating is very common in cities Urban heat island effectWhich metro areas are hotter than their surroundings?
Dallas, for example, is about to go six consecutive days without seeing temperatures drop below 80 degrees Fahrenheit overnight — a record for the city in June.
Areas with lots of asphalt, concrete, buildings, and freeways absorb more heat from the sun than areas with parks, rivers, and tree-lined streets. Christy Eby, a climate and health expert at the University of Washington, said that when the temperature cools down in the evening, the heat will return to the air.
Areas with lots of green space – grass and trees that reflect sunlight and create shade – are cooler on the hottest days of summer.
“Many cities set up cooling shelters, but people need to know where they are, how to get there and what time they work,” Eby told CNN, adding that city officials should rethink urban planning in light of climate change.
“It takes a while for trees to grow, but we need tree-planting programs that focus on particularly vulnerable areas – urban planning that takes into account that we’re moving into a warmer future.”
Houston has had nine days this month that haven’t dipped below 80 degrees — nearly double the normal for June. This has happened only two other times in the city’s records.
Night should be when our body rests from the heat, Patel said. But with climate change, that is becoming less likely. A recent study shows that heat-related death can occur Add six times Because of warmer nighttime temperatures by the end of the century, unless the planet’s heat pollution is significantly curbed.
Researchers have also warned that the climate crisis is affecting people’s ability to sleep. A Research Published last month, people living in hot climates lose more sleep with every increase in temperature.
“We all know what it’s like trying to sleep on a hot night — it’s uncomfortable,” Patel said. “We lose a lot of sleep. It’s estimated that by the end of the century we could lose two days of sleep a year, and it’s even worse for people who don’t have air conditioning.”
Patel says that when the human body doesn’t have a chance to recover at extremes – especially at night – heat stress can develop into heatstroke, which is associated with confusion, dizziness and passing out.
And while it can happen to anyone, she says, the effects are more severe in the elderly, those with chronic health conditions and young children, especially infants. A heat wave that lasts for several days is associated with many deaths because the body cannot cool itself.
“Living in a heat wave during the day can be like running a race,” Patel said. “We need cool breaks to recover and recover, and when nighttime temperatures don’t drop, we don’t get the critical time we need to relieve the stress on our bodies from overheating during the day.”
CNN’s Brandon Miller, Monica Garrett and Taylor Ward contributed to this report.
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