U.S. southwest swelters under dangerous heat, with new records expected
Excessive heat warnings remained in effect on Sunday for people around the world, from the United States, to Europe, and Japan.
The heat wave that's spreading across a swath of the U.S. from Oregon, down the West Coast, and into the Southwest including Texas through Alabama, is unusual, said Zack Taylor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Md.
There's a mass of high pressure air sitting like a dome "parked" over the affected areas and it's deflecting any rain and storm systems that could provide relief to more than 100 million Americans under heat warnings and cautions, said Taylor.
Phoenix, Ariz., is centred squarely under the heat dome, and the temperature was expected to climb to 47 C on Sunday, matching the high on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
Temperatures in Arizona's capital have been at or above 43 C every day for 16 consecutive days, nearing the 1974 record of 18 days in a row for that level of heat.
Some of the estimated 200 cooling centres in metro Phoenix planned to extend their weekend hours, and emergency rooms were ready to treat people with heat-related illnesses.
In Nevada, an intense heat wave threatens to break Las Vegas's all-time record high of 47.2 C this weekend. Misters have been set up along the Las Vegas Strip to provide some relief.
The National Weather Service says the extreme heat will continue through the middle of this week. Forecasters have warned people to take precautions to protect themselves from the heat, such as cancelling outdoor activities during the day.
Heat sparks wildfires in Europe
High temperatures that have already sparked wildfires in Spain and Croatia were also being felt in central parts of Europe, including Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic — and with another heat wave in the forecast, more high temperatures were expected across the continent in the coming days.
On Spain's La Palma Canary Island, officials ordered more than 4,000 people to evacuate their homes on Saturday because of a raging wildfire.
The fire, which has destroyed at least 20 homes, coincides with a heat wave that has persisted for nearly a week in southern and central Europe.
Italy issued hot weather red alerts for 16 cities on Sunday, with meteorologists warning that temperatures will hit record highs across southern Europe in the coming days.
Forecasters say a new weather system with extreme heat pushed into southern Europe from North Africa on Sunday and could lift temperatures above 45 C in parts of Italy early this week.
"We need to prepare for a severe heat storm that, day after day, will blanket the whole country," Italian weather news service Meteo reported on Sunday.
"In some places ancient heat records will be broken."
In parts of eastern Japan, highs of 38 and 39 C were expected on Sunday and Monday, with forecasters warning temperatures could break records.
Japan swelters, Flooded tunnel in South Korea
Japan issued heat alerts on Sunday to tens of millions of people in 20 of the country's 47 prefectures due to high temperatures, while torrential rain pummelled other regions, the AFP news agency reported.
Flash flooding hit the city of Akita in northern Japan on Sunday, leaving one person dead and four injured.
In South Korea, days of heavy rain have triggered flash floods and landslides. Rescuers on Sunday pulled nine bodies from a flooded tunnel where around 15 vehicles were trapped in muddy water, officials said.
A total of 37 people have died and thousands have been evacuated since July 9, when heavy rain started pounding South Korea's central regions.
With files from Reuters and CBC News
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