Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Temperatures as high as 111°F (48°C) have hit the United States today, a continuation of Monday’s triple-digit (Fahrenheit) record highs in some areas.

High energy costs have many elderly and low income citizens keeping the air conditioning off, fixed incomes being blamed in many cases. In response to this, cities such as Chicago and New York have turned some public facilities into “cooling areas” for the duration. Buildings being converted include homeless shelters, senior centers, libraries and shopping malls. State agencies are urging anyone experiencing heat related symptoms to get to one of these places as soon as possible.

Early reports are attributing at least three dead from heat related complications in Philadelphia, Arkansas, and Indiana

The National Weather Service has issued Red Flag warnings for six states, warning that the heat could easily lead to forest fires. Much of the northeast corridor and central plains states have been issued heat warnings.

Relief is in sight for the northeast, with storms bringing cooler weather from the Ohio Valley through New England; however the central part of the US won’t see a break in the heat until the weekend.

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