(CNN) — A record heat wave and temperatures will top the century mark for 60 million people in the United States next week, while a similar heat wave is bringing record temperatures to Western Europe and Asia.
One-third of the United States population is under heat advisories and excessive heat warnings and more than 80% of the nation’s population (about 265 million Americans) will experience a maximum temperature of more than 32 degrees Celsius during the next seven days.
Above-normal and dangerous temperatures are expected to continue across much of the country through at least the weekend.
Heat warnings are in effect this Wednesday for New York, Philadelphia and Boston, where highs will be in the 90s and the heat index will hover around 100 degrees.
Record high temperatures are outpacing cold records by more than 10 to 1 so far in 2022.
Climate scientists told CNN that this worrying trend has become more noticeable in recent years and is what they would expect from climate change.
heat wave in Europe
Extreme heat has gripped parts of western Europe, with wildfires burning in France and Spain, a worsening drought in Portugal and the third hottest day on record in the UK on Monday.
The Royal Belgian Meteorological Institute (KMI/IRM) issued a “code red” weather warning for heat in two provinces on Tuesday, forecasting temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius in the west and southwest.
In Spain, forest fires swept through the central region of Castilla y León, as well as the northern region of Galicia on Sunday, Reuters reported. The fire also forced the state railway company to suspend service between Madrid and Galicia.
More than 70,000 hectares have been destroyed in Spain by fires this year, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Monday. “Seventy thousand hectares, to give you an idea, is almost double the average of the last decade,” he said.
The country’s Carlos III Health Institute on Monday estimated a cumulative total of more than 510 deaths related to the heat wave in the country, based on the statistical calculation of excess deaths.
The fire has spread across 10,926.8 hectares in the Gironde department in southwestern France, forcing the evacuation of 32,000 people, the local prefecture said on Monday night.
The nearby town of Cazaux registered 42.4 degrees Celsius on Monday, the hottest it has seen since its weather station opened more than 100 years ago in 1921, according to the French national weather service Météo France.
In Finistère, on the country’s Atlantic coast, the first fires were reported on Monday afternoon; less than eight hours later, the flames had decimated more than 283.3 hectares of land, prompting the evacuation of several villages.
A large forest fire has broken out on the slopes of Mount Penteli in Greece, near residential areas on the northern outskirts of Athens.
The fire that started after 5 p.m. local time, burning low vegetation spread rapidly and is still not under control and has prompted authorities to order residents of at least four residential areas to evacuate for safety reasons.
Hundreds have also died in Portugal, where sweltering temperatures are exacerbating a severe drought.
In total, more than 1,100 people are believed to have died due to the ongoing heat wave in southern Europe.
In the UK, where temperatures on Monday hit 38.1 degrees in Santon Downham in eastern England, making it the third-hottest day on record, authorities warned things were likely to get worse.
Heat wave prompts drought warnings
Almost half of Europe’s territory, including the United Kingdom, is “at risk” of drought, researchers from the European Union Commission said on Monday.
The water supply may be “compromised” in the coming months, according to the report.
In China, a heat wave has half the country on alert, affecting more than 900 million people, or about 64% of the population. All but two of China’s northeast provinces have issued high-temperature warnings, with 84 cities issuing their highest-level red alerts last Wednesday.