Record-breaking heat and summer snow: What to know about the extreme weather across the U.S. this week

Mother Nature is kicking it up a notch.

Extreme heat is plaguing major cities in the country, with some regions experiencing health alerts. (Jeff Roberson/AP)
Extreme heat is plaguing major cities in the country, with some regions experiencing triple digit temperatures. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Millions of people across the Midwest and Northeast are facing brutal heat this week.

The National Weather Service is warning of a “dangerous and long” heat wave over the next few days, with temperatures soaring into the triple digits in many areas — including upstate New York, where cities like Rochester will see 104-degree weather Tuesday and Wednesday.

A different kind of extreme is hitting the Pacific Northwest, which is experiencing unseasonably cold weather. Parts of southern Oregon and Northern California faced a freeze warning early Monday morning, with temperatures reaching as low as 19 degrees in areas.

The intense weather is a continuation from the past several days. On Monday night, tens of thousands of people in the Pittsburgh area lost power due to storm damage, with roughly 25,000 still without electricity as of Tuesday morning, according to Growing storm systems in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic also threaten cities in South Texas and the eastern coast of Florida, days after intense flooding reportedly caused a car crash that killed two people in South Florida last week.

Here’s everything to know about this week’s extreme weather.

Over 76 million Americans face sweltering conditions over the next few days as an intense heat dome stretches over the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Northeast. Temperatures should reach the low 100s in many areas, according to the National Weather Service.

The heat wave will continue into the week as it passes through states like Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania on Wednesday before making its way to New York and Maine by Thursday.

Based on HeatRisk, the newest scale created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most extreme level of heat will be felt in northern Ohio and upstate New York over the next few days. According to the New York Times, emergency room visits in these areas are likely to rise significantly.

Furthermore, rising humidity in Iowa is likely to push heat index values into nearly the triple digits during afternoon hours early this week, according to local forecasters. Cities like St. Louis, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York should experience upward of 105-degree heat, according to the Weather Prediction Center, while areas in El Paso, Texas, and Atlanta — which opened cooling centers this week to provide heat relief — will be in the high 90s in the coming days.

Meanwhile, Rio Grande Village, Texas, reached 114 degrees this week, making it the highest level on the HeatRisk scale and the hottest place in the U.S. on Monday, per NBC News.

A cold front is plaguing the Intermountain West, with heavy snow along the northern Rockies in western Montana and central Idaho this week, according to Fox Weather.

The National Weather Service is expecting up to 12 inches of snow along the Rocky Mountain Front, though it will be falling at higher elevations (above 6,000 feet), so it won’t affect large population areas, AccuWeather meteorologist Tom Kines told USA Today. It’s expected to taper off on Wednesday.

Temperatures in western Montana are likely to drop to 40 degrees as the cold front progresses, but should climb back to near 70 by midweek. Cities like Seattle and Portland, Ore., however, will see a high in the mid-60s.

A tropical storm over Southeast Texas is likely to produce considerable flash and urban flooding as well as river flooding Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Another storm is brewing on the east coast of Florida or southeast Georgia and is expected to make landfall by late Wednesday into Thursday, according to Orlando’s Fox 35. If it does, meteorologist Noah Bergren said it would be an “extremely rare” event.

“Historically, only three storms have made landfall from the east in June,” he told Fox 35. “The most recent was Tropical Storm Danny in 2021, which hit South Carolina.”

The U.S. isn’t the only country dealing with Mother Nature’s immoderate effects. This month alone, over 730 fires have been detected in Brazil’s Pantanal region, the largest tropical wetland on the planet, according to the country’s National Institute of Space Research.

It’s a record high in Pantanal for the month of June, which was previously 435 fires in June 2005, according to CNN.

Extreme heat in Cyprus and Greece reached upward of 110°F last week, causing officials to temporarily shut down the Acropolis, close public schools and limit other outdoor attractions.

According to the Washington Post, two elderly people died in Cyprus after suffering from heatstroke. An additional three elderly patients are being treated at various hospitals in the region for heatstroke symptoms, according to reports.

The debilitating heat is also plaguing India, where temperatures were so hot that a one-of-its-kind insurance policy made payouts to 50,000 women across 22 districts to help them cope with the economic impacts of extreme heat.

Meanwhile, 14 Jordanian pilgrims died while on a holy trip to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Jordan’s Foreign Ministry reported Sunday that they died as a result of exposure to extreme sun and heat, according to the New York Times. An additional 17 pilgrims are missing.

Heavy rains are affecting southern and central Chile as well, reportedly killing one person, causing damage to over 2,000 homes and forcing around 150 people to be evacuated from their homes, according to Sky News.