Beryl Remnants, Heat Wave Deliver Extreme Weather to Half of US

Jul 11, 2024

What Does the Heat Index Mean?

A heat wave and storms threatened half of the US with extreme weather Wednesday. It was fueled by climate change. Its impact was heightened by the effects of Hurricane Beryl. The storm has killed at least 18 people. It’s knocked out power across East Texas.

More than 1.3 million Texans, mostly in Houston, remained without power before midnight Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Midwest and Northeast braced for the chance of tornadoes and flooding spun from a dying Beryl. Also, Las Vegas was one of many western locales facing extreme heat. It set a new record with five straight days at 115 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) or higher.

As least 161 million Americans were under high heat warnings Wednesday.

People have flocked to Death Valley along the California and Nevada border, one of the world’s most extreme locales, to witness near-record heat. It's approached 130°F. Park Ranger Matthew Lamar told The Associated Press (AP) it’s "like stepping your (whole) body out into an oven.” The extreme heat claimed the life of a motorcyclist in the park on Saturday.

In Houston, the heat wave is less intense. But power outages after Beryl have left many without the choice of staying in places with cool air. On Wednesday, the heat index, which factors humidity with temperature, reached 106.

“During the day you can have the doors open,” Kyuta Allen told the AP. “But at night you’ve got to board and lock up — lock yourself like into a sauna.”

Allen said she takes her children to a local community center to cool off and get web access.

Elsewhere, flood watches were in effect in Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. A tornado touched down in southwestern Indiana. It damaged homes and businesses and derailed train cars.

Reflect: When was the last time you experienced a very hot day? How did it affect what you did and how you felt?

The infographic can be used to support the reader’s understanding of what topic from the article? (Common Core RI.5.7; RI.6.7)
a. hurricanes
b. flooding
c. heatwaves
d. tornados
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