Science | May 12, 2022 11:41 am

These States Are in For an Alarmingly Hot Summer

A new government report suggests 203 counties across 14 states are due for "extremely hot days" starting this month

a classic wooden thermometer showing a temperature over 50 degrees Celsius, 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Over 200+ counties will have dangerously hot weather this month
Kinek00 / iStock / Getty

It’s getting hot out there, and it’s still spring. And according to a new government report, the heat is going to be brutal in several states over the next few months.

In a just-released report (“Climate and Health Outlook”) from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE), the government agencies projected which states and counties were expected to experience “extremely hot days,” which is when the daily maximum temperature is above the 95th percentile value of the historical temperature distribution in that area.

The early outlook? Not good for 203 counties across 14 states, but particularly in Texas, which accounted for over half of the extremely dire weather threats. And within these counties, there are millions of people who are considered high risk. Among them:

  • 53 counties (26%) have a high number of people aged 65 or over, living alone.
  • 73 (36%) have a high number of people living in poverty.
  • 134 (66%) have a high number of people without health insurance.

Other people at risk include residents with existing health conditions, who have poor access to health care, work outdoors, make a low income, face difficulty paying utility bills, live in poor housing and live in urban areas without adequate tree cover.

Taking a longer look into summer, the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) predicts that the average temperature will be 1.8 to 3.6°F (1 to 2°C) above-normal for most of the continental U.S., with Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska possibly experiencing a higher 90-day average temperature of 3.6 to 5.4°F (2 to 3°C).

If you’re worried about the upcoming weather, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) provides a free Heat & Health Tracker that also includes some tips on how to prepare for extreme heat. According to the CDC, there are over 700 deaths and 67,500 emergency department visits per year due to heat — and those numbers, much like the temperature, certainly won’t decline this summer.