Here's What States Are Under Heat Alerts for July 4

Takia Davis cools off with daughter Lareina Ramos, 1, at the Sylmar Recreation Center splash pad in San Fernando Valley, CA., on Tuesday, July 2, 2024. Credit - Los Angeles Times— Getty Image

Meteorologists say the Fourth of July could be “hot as a firecracker” as heat alerts impacting tens of millions of Americans warn of scorching hot temperatures during the holiday on Thursday and days after.

The National Weather Service (NWS) of Sacramento and San Francisco each issued an excessive heat warning through next Tuesday, while NWS offices in Los Angeles sent out an advisory through Monday. Temperatures are forecasted to reach as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the Bay Area. Surrounding desert and mountainous regions in Los Angeles could see even greater numbers.

Other regions of the U.S., including the Southern Plains and Southeast are also under similar heat alerts.

Excessive heat warnings mean that temperature highs could cause “life-threatening impacts” or other “major impacts to commerce or travel,” per the NWS. More people die from extreme heat than any other weather-related event.

Californians are bearing the brunt of the heat, with those in the interior valleys seeing the greatest rise in temperature, per Accuweather. The blistering heat also arrived as workers attempted to subdue the Thompson forest fire, which has burned 3,000 acres thus far, forcing some 13,000 residents to flee from their Northern California home. The fire was 0% contained Wednesday morning.

"It's going to be downright hot across the Southwest, especially in California and the Desert Southwest where record highs will be challenged," said Accuweather Senior Meteorologist Joseph Bauer in a press release. Further east, other cities like Little Rock, Ark. are expected to reach a heat index of 113 degrees on Thursday.

The NWS Prediction Center said that the excessive heat highs near the Pacific could continue through July 11, with other states like Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho also within reach of an excessive heat high.

Read more: What to Know About Heat Domes—and How Long They Last

The NWS of Las Vegas has asked people to bring their pets indoors. “Yes, the Mojave Desert gets hot. But this heat will be record-breaking,” the office tweeted on Wednesday. Cooling centers opened in metros like Los Angeles starting Wednesday through July 8.

The NWS of the Bay Area advised people to avoid using fireworks—a staple of this holiday season, amidst the heat. “Rapidly developing drought conditions across the mid-Atlantic and Southeast will make it easier for fireworks to spark brush fires, especially with very little rain expected in the days leading up to July 4,” added Accuweather Senior Meteorologist Brian Thompson.

Millions of others along the northern Plains to the Midwest will contrastingly be impacted by thunderstorms, Accuweather reports. States like Minnesota have already been impacted by what could be the worst flooding in nearly 60 years, according to the Star Tribune. Floodwaters are so strong in some areas that the authorities say the Rapidan Dam is in “imminent failure condition,” posing a risk to thousands of residents.

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