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Blistering US heatwave spreads from south and scorches 190m Americans | US news

A blistering heatwave that has engulfed the southern US over the past four weeks has spread to the Great Plains, midwest, mid-Atlantic and north-eastern regions, placing about 190 million Americans under heat advisory alerts, the National Weather Service said.

The extreme heat is expected to persist through Saturday, with Friday and Saturday forecast to be the hottest days of the summer so far for millions in the mid-Atlantic and north-east.

The NWS said oppressive heat and humidity will build in the New York City area through Saturday, with parts of the city seeing potential heat index values of up to 102F (39C).

On Thursday, Phoenix recorded its 28th day in a row of temperatures reaching at least 110F (43.3C). The scorching heat combined with a lack of seasonal monsoons has been causing cactuses to die in the area.

El Paso, Texas, recorded its 42nd day in a row of temperatures at or above 100F (37.7C) and Miami recorded its 46th consecutive day of heat index values at 100F or above.

Amid the record-breaking heatwaves, Joe Biden and the US Department of Labor on Thursday announced a formal heat hazard alert, reaffirming protections workers have from heat while the administration formulates a new workplace standard rule for heat illnesses.

“Historically high temperatures impact everyone and put our nation’s workers at high risk,” said Julie Su, the acting secretary of labor.

“A workplace heat standard has long been a top priority for the Department of Labor, but rule-making takes time and working people need help now. Today, at the president’s request, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha) issued a heat hazard alert to make sure employers follow current standards and that workers across the country know their rights.

“This action, combined with Osha’s increased heat-safety enforcement efforts, shows that we are determined to protect the safety and health of millions of people whose jobs become more hazardous in harsh weather.”

July 2023 has been declared by scientists the world’s hottest month on record and probably the hottest month in the past 100,000 years.

Forecasters say warming will only get worse in the future, due to the climate crisis. Blistering US heatwave spreads from south and scorches 190m Americans | US news

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