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No relief as heat wave in US moves east

National Guard helicopter crews conduct rescue operations in Yellowstone National Park amid devastating floods

National Guard helicopter crews conduct rescue operations in Yellowstone National Park due to devastating flooding.

A heat wave that hit much of the central United States last week is set to move east with dangerously high temperatures, forecasters said Monday.

The National Weather Service told Americans to gird themselves for another day of well above normal, near-record or even record-breaking heat from the central plains to the Upper Midwest.

“Dangerous heat will continue to make headlines,” the agency said in an advisory.

The scorching blast will drift east into the Great Lakes region on Tuesday with highs in the 90 degrees Fahrenheit (mid 30s Celsius), which is up to 20 degrees F above normal.

About 120 million people were under some sort of advice last week when a heat wave burned the Midwest and Southeast.

This stemmed from what forecasters called a high-pressure dome, with wild weather like thunderstorms, flash flooding and extreme rainfall erupting around its edges.

Yellowstone National Park, the oldest in the United States, closed last week due to extensive flood damage when roads were washed away.

Heavy rainfall and melting snow caused river runoff for months in just a few days. Located primarily in Wyoming, the sprawling park is home to the Old Faithful geyser.

Helicopters were deployed to rescue nearly 90 people.

The park said the southern section will reopen to visitors on Wednesday, but officials say other sections will remain closed for the rest of the season.

As the heat scorched the Southwest, a wildfire that made its way to a mountainside in Arizona consumed four buildings of the Kitt Peak National Observatory, but they apparently did not contain telescopes or other scientific equipment, officials said.

“This is the most threatening fire I can recall at Kitt Peak in the past 25 years,” Buell Jannuzi, chief of the astronomy division at the University of Arizona, said according to ABC News.

The university is a tenant of the observatory, which is operated by the National Science Foundation.

Meanwhile, a fire raged in the Wharton State Forest in the northeastern state of New Jersey, officials said.

The New Jersey Forest Service said the blaze, which started Sunday, had consumed 7,200 acres (2,900 hectares) by Monday and was 45 percent under control.

It said 18 structures were threatened, but no injuries were reported.

Wildfires are common in the western United States during the summer, but are uncommon in the eastern part of the country.

Floods, fires, heatwaves: US grapples with climate disasters

© 2022 AFP

Quote: No relief as heat wave moves east in US (2022, June 20) retrieved June 20, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-06-relief-east.html

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