A dangerous heat wave will continue throughout a large portion of the U.S. this weekend, while others will finally receive a break from the heat, according to the FOX Forecast Center.
Record-breaking heat with forecast highs into the upper 90s and low 100s will impact a broad region between the Midwest and the central Gulf Coast for the next few days. When factoring in sultry humidity levels, heat indices could approach 120 degrees.
This heat wave will pose a greater health risk than usual, and be potentially deadly, due to the consecutive days of extreme heat, the intensity of the heat and the lack of overnight cooling associated with record-warm overnight lows.
Heat alerts currently span a large portion of the country through Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, relief is in store for Americans in the Upper Midwest. The FOX Forecast Center said a cold front moving southward should bring an end to the excessive heat and shepherd in some more comfortable temperatures.
- Image 1 of 3
- Image 2 of 3
- Image 3 of 3
While temperatures won't drop below average for late August, it will certainly feel more comfortable for millions of Americans from the Midwest to the mid-South this weekend and into next week.
For those living across portions of the southern Plains to the Gulf Coast, however, excessive heat looks to continue well into next week.
The extreme heat and humidity will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses like heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Precautions should be taken, such as drinking plenty of fluids, staying indoors in an air-conditioned room and staying out of the sun.
"Do not underestimate the potential for heat-related illness," the WPC warned. "Have a way to break your heat exposure, cool down and stay hydrated."
A streak of record-breaking heat
The heat this week has shattered records.
Chicago, for example, hit 100 degrees on Thursday afternoon at O'Hare International Airport. According to the National Weather Service, this marks the first time Chicago has officially observed a 100-degree temperature since July 6, 2012. They added that this also ties the city's daily high temperature for Aug. 24, which was set more than 75 years ago.
Also on Thursday, Houston hit 109 degrees, tying its record for hottest day in more than 134 years. The NWS said temperatures in Houston have reached 109 only twice before, in 2000 and 2011, according to records dating back to 1889.
On Wednesday, record-breaking high temperatures were seen at 24 locations across the U.S., such as Mobile, Alabama, (103 degrees), and Beaumont, Texas, (104 degrees) and Waterloo, Iowa and Baton Rouge, Louisiana (105 degrees).
It's already been a deadly few months in Louisiana, with officials confirming at least 25 deaths since July. The heat is sticking around, with Baton Rouge likely staying above 100 degrees through the weekend and into at least the first part of next week.