Monday, July 17, 2006
The National Weather Service has issued excessive-heat advisories for eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and St. Louis as the continent swelters in heat-wave conditions from coast to coast and into Canada. The New York Times reports that "highs of over 90 degrees will prevail over almost all of the 48 contiguous states, except for Maine" today, and that "twenty-one states had at least one location exceed 100 degrees yesterday." In California, energy officials are predicting record-breaking power usage and are asking consumers to help conserve energy. The National Weather Service says high temperatures are the number one killer in terms of weather events. On average, heat kills 175 people per year. Well over 30,000 deaths were blamed on the European heat wave of 2003. According to a modeling study conducted by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, heat waves will be more intense, frequent and longer lasting in the 21st century, due to the effects of climate change.