After the center of the United States was crushed, a heatwave moved east Monday, the meteorological services said, stoking fears of potentially dangerous temperatures for the most fragile and devastating inclement weather.
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The “heat dome” led to early heat records in several western and central cities last week. In the northwestern regions, the heat collided with cool air masses, causing severe thunderstorms and flooding.
“Dangerous heat will continue to make headlines from the central United States to the Southeast,” the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
“The center of the heatwave will move eastward toward the Great Lakes region on Tuesday,” the NWS explained, with temperatures sometimes exceeding 35C, “5 to 12 degrees higher than seasonal normals. Chicago, the country’s third largest metropolitan area, is expected to experience 37C on Tuesday.
With mercury above 20 °C, the nights bring no comfort, say meteorologists.
On Wednesday, the heat will drop towards the southeast with up to 43°C on the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico, coupled with high humidity.
The north-east of the country should be spared these weather conditions, which led to torrential rain in the north-west and in the center of the country.
Yellowstone National Park, which closed its gates last week due to exceptional flooding, announced it would reopen part of its entrances on Wednesday, but to a limited public.
The massive park of nearly 9,000 km2, spanning the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho (Northwest), will filter entries by organizing an even-odd system by license plate number and day of the week.
This temporary system “will ensure visitors can enter the park during this period of high demand,” Yellowstone officials said on Facebook, specifying that it would be reviewed “in three to four weeks.”
The park had been evacuated due to flooding from a swollen river and torrential rain that caused collapses and mudslides, cutting off several sections of the road.
In Arizona, where a chronic drought is raging, a fire is threatening Kitt Peak National Observatory and its telescopes.
The “Contreras fire,” which broke out south of Tucson on June 11, has already destroyed more than 8,000 acres and four buildings in the center, but all of the observatory’s scientific structures “still stand,” officials said.
“This is the most threatening fire for Mount Kitt in at least 25 years,” said ABC Buell Jannuzi, chief of the astronomy department at the University of Arizona, one of the institutions using the telescopes.
While fires are common in the American West, they are rarer in the Northeast, where a fire raged Monday in New Jersey’s Wharton State Forest.
According to the state fire department, the blazes have destroyed nearly 3,000 acres since Sunday and the fire was 45 percent contained.
It destroyed 18 buildings but caused no casualties.