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Summer 2022: 3 U.S. states are most at risk for extreme temperature increases

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Get ready for (another) hot, hot summer.

The climate crisis is raising global temperatures to new extremes, and this year will be no exception.

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Already, South Asia is enduring a record-breaking, prolonged heat wave that began in March.

March was the hottest month on record for India. And the city of Turbat, Pakistan, saw a stunning 122-degree day in April.

In the U.S., a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 31,877,388 people will be at risk for extremely hot days in the month of May alone.

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What exactly is an “extremely hot day”?

In the CDC’s words, this is when the “daily maximum temperature is above the 95th percentile value of the historical temperature distribution.”

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In other words, extreme heat varies from place to place, depending on historical averages.

Humidity can also make a difference, as it’s harder to withstand high temperatures coupled with high humidity.

Here are 4 key takeaways from the CDC’s report on this summer’s heat:

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4. 14 states will have 5 or more extremely hot days in May alone.

This includes Texas, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Oklahoma, Kansas, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama.

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This map breaks down extremely hot days by county through May. Red means more than 10 days are expected to be extremely hot, and orange means 5 to 9 days.

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3. Heat-prone counties house many who are especially vulnerable.

The 203 counties that will have 5 or more extremely hot days in May share the following traits:

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- 68 percent of counties do not have adequate tree cover for people living there.

- 66 percent are home to a high number of people who do not have health insurance.

- 36 percent are home to a large number of people who live in poverty.

2. Three central states could be in for exceptionally hot weather.

Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska are likely to experience temperatures 3.6 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit higher than average.

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The entire U.S. is expected to see higher temperatures than average, but those three central states will experience the greatest amount of change.

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1. This year’s predictions are similar to last year’s in most of the country.

Actual temperatures could fluctuate slightly from predicted forecasts. But if this summer is anything like last summer, we could be in for extreme heat waves and more frequent natural disasters — both worsened by climate change.

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