‘Extreme Heat Belt’ Forming In U.S. South, Midwest, Report Says

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Across large swathes of the U.S., roughly 108 million people will be living in an “extreme heat belt” by 2053 that delivers searing temperatures more frequently and for longer periods, new research shows

“We need to be prepared for the inevitable, that a quarter of the country will soon fall inside the Extreme Heat Belt with temperatures exceeding 125 and the results will be dire,” said Matthew Eby, founder and CEO of First Street Foundation.

The group found that the “most severe shift” in temperatures over the next three decades will be in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

The heat index combines air temperature and relative humidity to calculate what the weather feels like to the human body, according to the National Weather Service. A heat index over 125 is an “extreme danger” and “highly likely” to result in heat stroke with prolonged exposure, the Weather Service says.

July 2022 marked the third-hottest month on record, as well, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Researchers found that 8.1 million Americans are expected to experience days with “extreme danger” heat index temperatures next year. That number will grow by nearly 100 million in three decades, the report says.

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