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Extreme heat, powerful storms hitting US ahead of holiday

The Fourth of July will see severe heat and possible thunderstorms in much of the U.S.
Extreme heat, powerful storms hitting US ahead of holiday
Posted at 5:03 PM, Jul 03, 2023

Extreme heat and the threat of powerful storms could impact much of the United States' Fourth of July plans.

Millions of Americans are under excessive heat warnings, specifically in the West where dry conditions are also a concern for wildfire potential.

Temperatures in central and desert areas of California are expected to be in the triple digits, with Palm Springs seeing a high of 113 degrees and much of the interior regions possibly hitting 105 degrees.

On Saturday, California's Paso Robles area hit a record 111 degrees, surpassing the 2013 high of 107 degrees.

Phoenix flirted with its record high of 117 Monday when temperatures climbed to around 115 degrees, where they are expected to remain through the holiday. Temperatures will lessen a bit Wednesday, but they'll go back to the same range for the next week.

Nevada's first excessive heat warning of the season also bought Las Vegas' first triple-digits in 294 days on Friday, with the thermometer reaching 102 degrees. Monday's high jumped to 111 degrees.

The heat is one of the reasons Salt Lake City is holding a drone light show for the Fourth of July instead of using fireworks.

"These fireworks sometimes can be erratic, and they can ignite brush and trees and other things that are nearby that are flammable," said Captain Chad Jepperson with the Salt Lake City Fire Department.

The heat is also extending into the Southeast with temperatures in the 90s, but with humidity, it feels like the 100s in areas from Dallas to Charlotte.

Meanwhile, severe weather is forecast for 19 states in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Millions of people now face the risk of damaging wind, large hail and possible tornadoes through Tuesday.

Some areas are just getting over a previous round of storms over the weekend that led to thousands of flight delays and cancellations.

"The Department of Transportation and the FAA are working closely with airlines to help minimize flight disruptions resulting from extreme weather," said Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary.

The new storm threat comes a week after Denver saw several inches of hail and flash flooding, the Indianapolis area saw severe storms and a tornado, and since heavy rains flooded Chicago's streets and forced NASCAR to shorten and delay a race Sunday.

On Monday, a severe thunderstorm watch was in effect for parts of Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota. On the Fourth of July, severe storms are expected to center over the Plains area.

SEE MORE: US faces severe weather, extreme heat alerts, air quality warnings

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