CLIMATE GLIMPSE: Scorching Northern Hemisphere heat leads to deaths and wildfires | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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CLIMATE GLIMPSE: Scorching Northern Hemisphere heat leads to deaths and wildfires

Muslim pilgrims use umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun as they gather outside Nimrah Mosque to offer the noon prayers in Arafat, on the second day of the annual hajj pilgrimage, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, June 15, 2024. Masses of Muslims gathered at the sacred hill of Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia for worship and reflection on the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

The United States is bracing for chaotic weather this week, with the South set to experience another heat wave following a short respite from searing temperatures earlier this month. The National Weather Service expects some areas to reach temperatures so high they'll hit new daily records.

And it's not just the U.S. Across the Northern Hemisphere, in Europe and Asia, extreme temperatures are causing deadly heatstroke and early wildfires ahead of the start of the astronomical summer on Thursday.

Here’s what’s happening related to extreme weather and the climate right now:

— From extreme heat to unseasonable cold in the Pacific Northwest, the U.S. is facing a myriad of extremes. The Rocky Mountains may get a late bout of snow, while further south, firefighters in Los Angeles are dealing with their first major fire of the season and Phoenix will experience more days above 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius).

— With temperatures of up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday, at least 14 pilgrims marking the start of Eid al-Adha died of heatstroke, according to Jordan’s state-run Petra news agency. An Associated Press reporter saw several of the more than 1.8 million pilgrims collapse due to burning heat.

— Record temperatures on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus led to at least two heat-related deaths, state officials say. And over 3.2 square kilometers (1.2 square miles) of forest were scorched near the capital of Nicosia. The country has been experiencing temperatures of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) and higher over the past week.

— For those preparing for extreme temperatures over the next few days, Tammy Weber's guide to surviving the searing sun recommends plenty of water, loose clothing and getting into air conditioning, whether in your own home or in public spaces that would be able to provide it.

— And finally, the European Union on Monday approved a long-awaited plan to better protect nature in the bloc, known as the Nature Restoration Law. The issue saw months of protests by farmers but survived a razor-thin vote by lawmakers. It's part of the EU’s European Green Deal to have the world’s most ambitious climate and biodiversity targets.


QUOTABLE: “There really shouldn’t be any outdoor activity with physical exertion during the peak of the day,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Steven Freitag for in areas of extreme heat. Freitag said any physical activity should be short and during the early hours of the morning, when it's coolest.


The Associated Press’ climate and environmental coverage receives financial support from multiple private foundations. AP is solely responsible for all content. Find AP’s standards for working with philanthropies, a list of supporters and funded coverage areas at

News from © The Associated Press, 2024
The Associated Press

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