Heat This Week: 90s or Higher in Over 40 States

July 18, 2011; 11:03 AM ET
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"The worst of the heat wave through at least Wednesday will focus on the nation's midsection."


More than 40 states will record highs in the 90s or higher this week as the massive heat wave baking the Plains expands its grip across the United States.

It is not unusual for temperatures this time of year to rise to or above 90 degrees in 23 of the 48 contiguous United States.

However, the magnitude of the heat wave is clearly evident with more than 40 states set to record a 90-degree temperature reading or greater on at least one day of this week. AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Bill Deger adds that several record highs are in jeopardy.

Monday is when the United States may see the greatest coverage of 90-degree temperatures as the dome of heat stretches from the Northwest's interior to the mid-Atlantic and southern New England.

The worst of the heat wave through at least Wednesday will focus on the nation's midsection.

The Plains will register triple-digit highs on a daily basis from Sunday to Wednesday. Temperatures will flirt with the century mark throughout the middle and upper Mississippi Valleys, which includes Minneapolis and St. Louis.

High humidity from the eastern Plains eastward will worsen the situation by causing AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures to soar between 105 and 110 degrees.

RealFeels will even reach the 115-degree mark in some cases, such as in Omaha, Neb., and Kansas City, Mo.

Heat and humidity will also build Sunday into Monday across the Great Lakes and Northeast, setting the stage for severe thunderstorms.

However, the worst of the heat will likely come later in the week as the center of heat wave shifts eastward.

Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., could approach 100 degrees with temperatures feeling dangerously hotter due to high humidity.

"Unfortunately, each year people lose their lives in severe heat waves such as this," states Deger.

Deger continued, "It is imperative that individuals engaging in outdoor activities stay well hydrated and take frequent breaks."

Be sure to follow the many other heat safety tips to protect yourself, your family and pets from a potentially deadly heatstroke during this massive and far-reaching heat wave.

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