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Tuesday’s extreme weather brings even more scorching heat … and snow

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Millions of people across the United States were under weather advisories on Tuesday as nearly every region of the country faced extreme weather conditions: from scorching heat in the Midwest and Northeast to severe thunderstorms across the Plains, heavy rains on the Gulf Coast and sub-freezing temperatures across the Northwest.

From eastern Iowa to Maryland’s Atlantic coast to northern Maine, heat warnings should go into effect at noon and remain in place through Thursday and Friday, the National Weather Service said. Much of the Midwest and Northeast will be hotter than Florida starting Tuesday afternoon. Dozens of cities are expected to set new heat records over the course of the week, the weather service said.

Heat index values ​​(feels like temperatures) of up to 40 degrees Celsius are expected across western New York State. In parts of Indiana and Michigan, the feels like temperature could drop to 35 to 38 degrees Celsius during the week. In Washington DC, meteorologists expect heat index values ​​of up to 38 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.

The scorching temperatures will scorch several major cities including Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Boston and New York City.

Although hot weather is not uncommon at this time of year, the extent of the heatwave and its early arrival are notable.

The weather service warned that the duration of the heat and the lack of overnight relief “will increase the danger of this heat wave beyond what accurate temperature readings suggest.” Among the biggest concerns are people without adequate air conditioning, especially in the north, as residents are not used to periods of sustained heat.

The days-long heat dome that occurs when persistent high pressure traps heat over an area is expected to last at least until Friday, according to the weather service.

Tips for heat protection

Heat is the deadliest form of extreme weather, claiming more lives on average than floods, tornadoes and hurricanes. Here are some tips for braving scorching temperatures safely.

The Center for Disease Control, the National Weather Service and other agencies recommend that people avoid being outdoors during the hottest part of the day when a heat warning is in effect. For those who don’t have that option, experts recommend working in the shade, taking frequent breaks and drinking plenty of water.

In extreme heat, temperatures in unpowered vehicles can reach lethal levels within minutes. The weather service says children or pets should never be left unattended in a car, especially during a heat wave.

Those most at risk, according to the CDC, are young children, the elderly, people who work outdoors, and people with chronic illnesses, mental illnesses, or who take certain medications that make it difficult to regulate their body temperature. Also at risk are people who do not have access to reliable air conditioning, as well as people who live in so-called urban heat islands, where it is warmer due to the greater number of sidewalks and buildings – and fewer green spaces.

Experts previously told USA TODAY that it was best to check for people who might be sensitive to heat.

Texas faces flooding as possible tropical system approaches

While the Northeast struggles with heat, thunderstorms will spread across the central and western Gulf Coast on Tuesday after a tropical storm warning was issued for parts of Texas and Louisiana, the weather service said.

Rainfall of 3 inches (7.5 cm) is expected across much of East Texas, with more than 15 inches (38 cm) expected near the coast. The rain is associated with a tropical cyclone that forecasters expect to become Tropical Storm Alberto on Wednesday before hitting East Texas, according to the National Weather Service.

The service issued a warning for a possible Type 1 tropical cyclone on Monday, marking the first warning for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season.

Rainfall amounts will range from 1 to 3 inches per hour across southeast Texas, with total rainfall averaging 2 to 5 inches, the weather service said. The heaviest rains are expected between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon.

“Excessive runoff may cause flooding of rivers, creeks, streams and other low-lying and flood-prone areas,” the weather service warned. “Flooding may occur in areas with poor drainage and in urban areas.”

Thunderstorms hit the middle of the USA

Due to extreme heat in the Northeast and cool air in the Northwest, the Central United States is facing severe thunderstorms that could cause flooding and possibly tornadoes.

According to AccuWeather, storms will develop across a corridor from Nebraska through Minnesota and into Canada by Tuesday morning. Flood warnings have been issued across the Upper Plains, and forecasters are expecting 3 inches of rain across the region. The heaviest rains are expected in the morning.

Severe thunderstorms could develop in parts of Kansas by Tuesday evening, increasing the risk of flash flooding as up to 4 inches of rain could fall in parts of the state, the weather service said. Minneapolis is in the zone where thunderstorms could produce hail, strong winds and downpours, AccuWeather said, adding that one or two isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out.

Snow is expected in the Rocky Mountains; temperatures below freezing are forecast

While the Northeast faces its highest temperatures in years, winter weather advisories have been issued for states in the Western United States. That’s true.

“Sufficient cold air in the upper levels of the atmosphere is expected to bring a late-season round of heavy, accumulating snowfall to the northern Rocky Mountains or northern Idaho, western Montana and northwestern Wyoming through Tuesday,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Brandon Buckingham.

The weather service in Missoula said between 1 and 4 inches of snow could fall in east-central Montana between Monday and Tuesday, with as much as 2 feet in higher elevations. Another 1 inch of wet snow was expected in Great Falls, Minnesota.

Meanwhile, parts of Oregon, Nevada and Utah experienced below-freezing temperatures.

The weather service in Reno, Nevada, issued a freeze warning through Wednesday evening, predicting temperatures as low as -4 degrees. In communities north of Salt Lake City, temperatures are expected to fall to -1 degrees on Tuesday. In southern Oregon, forecasters said temperatures could fall to -4 degrees.

“Take action now to protect sensitive plants from the cold,” the weather service said. “Those with underground sprinkler systems should drain them and cover above-ground pipes to protect them from freezing.”

National Weather Radar

Contributors: Doyle Rice, Anthony Robledo and Eduardo Cuevas, USA TODAY

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