Millions of people in the eastern and western United States are facing the threat of severe thunderstorms and extreme heat. On Saturday, severe thunderstorms are forecasted to hit the eastern US, from Alabama into the Northeast. The main hazards from these storms are strong winds, potential damage, large hail, and tornadoes. Slow-moving thunderstorms may also lead to flash flooding and frequent lightning in some areas of the region.
Specifically, Pennsylvania, parts of New York State, and Ohio are expected to see numerous severe thunderstorms. Tornado watches are in effect for parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, including cities like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse. Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia are also under a severe thunderstorm watch, with concerns about damaging wind gusts and large hail.
In Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, a fire broke out in an apartment complex, believed to be caused by a lightning strike. Fortunately, all residents were able to evacuate safely. However, a firefighter was injured while inside the collapsing building and was taken to a hospital with serious injuries.
On Sunday, the center of the country, from the Texas Panhandle to western Kentucky and Tennessee, will face the severe weather threat. Similar hazards from severe thunderstorms, including strong winds and large hail, are expected. Although the risk is low, isolated tornadoes cannot be completely ruled out.
Meanwhile, extreme heat continues to affect the country. Heat alerts have been issued for over 95 million Americans, from Washington State to Florida. The South is still experiencing extreme heat, with an excessive heat warning in effect for parts of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida. Cities like Dallas, Austin, Houston, Jackson, New Orleans, and Orlando are included in the warning. Heat advisories are also in effect for cities such as Little Rock, Memphis, Atlanta, and Miami.
Dangerously hot conditions are expected in the South on Saturday, with heat index values reaching above 105 degrees in many cities and feeling like 110 to 115 degrees in some areas. Record highs may be challenged from Texas to Florida. The West Coast will also see temperatures rise, with triple-digit highs forecasted in the Central Valley of California, and potentially spreading to parts of Oregon and Washington early next week.
An excessive heat warning has been issued for Oregon, including cities like Portland, Eugene, and Medford, starting Sunday. Seattle, Washington is under an excessive heat watch for next week. Record highs are expected to be challenged in western Oregon, including Portland, as temperatures could reach triple-digits for three consecutive days.
Overall, both the eastern and western regions of the United States are experiencing severe weather conditions, with thunderstorms and extreme heat posing threats to millions of people.