Heatwave Map Spotlight: U.S. South and East Coast

Why is there a heatwave in the South and East Coast?

A heatwave is affecting the South and East Coast of the United States on September 6, 2023 (1)(2)(3). Extreme heat is impacting the East Coast, including major cities like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, and Baltimore. The South, particularly Texas, is also experiencing high temperatures.

It’s the fourth day of high temperatures for the Mid-Atlantic.

How does a heatwave impact air quality?

Extreme heatwaves can worsen air quality. High temperatures can generate ground-level ozone, a main ingredient in smog.

Heatwaves can also create dry conditions and spark wildfires. Canadian wildfires have grown throughout the summer of 2023, sending wildfire smoke far south. On Wednesday, smoke from western Canada was impacting air quality in parts of the Midwest and South.

Which cities or areas are affected by the heatwave?

Cities and areas directly affected by the heatwave include:

How long will the heatwave last?

The heatwave started over the Labor Day weekend and is expected to persist for several days, with high temperatures forecasted in the range of 90 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. It is currently not clear when exactly the heatwave will end, but it is expected to continue in the Northeast through Thursday before some cooling thunderstorms arrive on Friday. The heat is then forecasted to move deeper into the South and the Southwest, indicating a prolonged period of extreme temperatures.

Are there any alerts in place?

Authorities in some of the affected areas have issued heat alerts and advisories. The mayor of Washington, D.C., activated a heat emergency, and New York City's mayor issued a heat advisory. In areas without adequate air conditioning, some schools have altered their schedules or switched to remote learning to ensure the safety of students and staff.

It's important for residents in these areas to stay informed about the latest updates and follow any safety recommendations issued by local authorities to protect themselves from the heatwave's adverse effects.

How can I protect myself from wildfire smoke and extreme heat?

Always plan ahead to protect yourself from wildfire smoke.

To protect yourself during extreme heat:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don't feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks.
  • Seek out air-conditioned places like shopping malls, libraries, or community centers. If you don't have access to air conditioning, spend time in shaded areas or use fans to circulate air.
  • Dress to stay cool.
  • Avoid going outside. If you must go outside, use sun protection, limit physical activity, and avoid peak heat hours.
  • Take cool showers or baths.
  • Check on vulnerable individuals.
  • Never leave children or pets in vehicles.

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