Deadly, historic heat wave pushes eastward across South to start July 4th weekend

Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories are in effect in several states through Friday evening. The combination of the record-high temperatures, along with high dew points, will produce life-threatening heat indices values in the 100-120 degree range across these areas.

A historic and deadly heat wave that has gripped much of the South for more than two weeks is pushing eastward and will be centered over the Lower Mississippi Valley to start the Independence Day weekend.

More than 70 million Americans are under some type of heat alert that warns of the threat from temperatures that in some communities will be excess of 10 degrees above average.

The heat wave has already turned deadly for both humans and animals. At least 11 deaths have been attributed to heat in Webb County, Texas. A father and son from Florida died last Friday during a hiking trip in Texas’ Big Bend National Park. A police K9 in Shreveport, Louisiana, died of a heat-related injury Saturday while chasing down suspects last week, according to authorities.


Temperatures will feel like over 110 degrees in some areas

Current heat alerts in the U.S. on Friday, June 30, 2023.
(FOX Weather)


Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories are in effect in several states across the South and Desert Southwest through Friday evening. 

In the South, the combination of the record-high temperatures, along with high dew points will produce life-threatening heat index values in the 100 to 120-degree range across, the FOX Forecast Center said.

The highest heat indices are expected to affect communities around San Antonio, Texas, and stretch up the Mississippi River to include New Orleans, Jackson, Little Rock, and Memphis.

Here's a look at Friday forecast record highs.
(FOX Weather)


It’s not only people feeling the heat. Animals are also struggling with excessive temperatures.

Texas Parks and Wildlife posted a video to Facebook showing a squirrel "splooting" to try and beat the heat.

Splooting is when an animal lies on their stomach with their legs stretched behind them. According to Texas Public Radio, squirrels do this when they’re exhausted from the heat.


The FOX Forecast Center expects extreme temperatures to continue in the region through the next couple of days, but Friday could be the peak of the worst of the heat for the Lower Mississippi Valley.

Forecast models show temperatures will slowly start to decline through the weekend and many communities will see highs in the mid-90s by Sunday. Due to the humidity, heat index values will stay stubbornly warm and well above 100 degrees.

Heat forecast into the weekend.
(FOX Weather)