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Video: Weekend forecast calls for extreme heat

  1. Transcript of: Weekend forecast calls for extreme heat

    BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Regarding the weather that's contributing here, here's a number, 92 million Americans are living under a heat advisory tonight, 21 million people in our country are under an excessive heat warning. Here's one more number. Over a thousand heat records have fallen across this country in just the last seven days. Today, it was hot in a lot of places with temperatures north of a hundred. And the weekend forecast is calling for extreme heat, especially along some of the big population centers in the

Image: Sun on sculpture in Wichita
Orlin Wagner  /  AP
Sun monster? Nope, it's just the sun shining on the "Peerless Princess of the Plains" sculpture during its dedication in Wichita, Kan., on Thursday. The city roasted at 106 degrees.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 6/28/2012 5:41:37 PM ET 2012-06-28T21:41:37

Death Valley ain't got nothing on Hill City -- at least not this week. The Kansas farm town was the hottest place in the nation over the past five days and, while a bit cooler Thursday, was still a symbol for the heat wave sitting atop the central U.S. and slowly spreading east.

"We've pretty much restricted our travel and stayed indoors," Kirk Schweitzer, director of the local economic development office, told msnbc.com.

Hill City topped out at 115 degrees on Wednesday -- 8 degrees above its previous record for a June 27.

"To have days on end, plus this early in the year ... that's what worries people," he said. "Is this a foreshadowing of summers in years to come or just an anomaly?"

A Midwest town having the nation's highest temperature for five days in a row is very unusual, Chris Foltz, a National Weather Service meteorologist, told Reuters.

"It's what you expect in the desert of Nevada or California," Foltz said. (Death Valley reached 110 on Wednesday.)

"Hill City is where the high pressure is anchored," Foltz added. "It's like the heat perpetuates itself."

"It feels like you have a big old furnace blowing in your face," said Rayson Brachtenbach, a technician at Elliott Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electric in Hill City, population 1,500.

The heat has kept him busy, Brachtenbach told Reuters. "Five or six days around 115 degrees is really hard on" on compressors, he said.

Any upside to the notoriety? "It does make people go to a map and look for Hill City," said Schweitzer, who's in the business of recruiting new employers to Graham County.

Still, he doesn't expect the area to market it's "hottest in the USA" label.

"No barbecue sauce business has cropped up to promote that," he said.

Image: Map of temperatures
Weather.com
Temperatures at 4:15 p.m. ET on Thursday are seen on this Weather Channel map.

Kansas on Thursday was one of nine states where "excessive heat warnings" were issued by the National Weather Service. The others were Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

The Weather Channel estimated that nearly 93 million Americans were in areas under "heat advisories" and 21 million in areas with "excessive heat warnings."

Indianapolis on Thursday saw its warmest June day on record when the thermometer reached 103 degrees.

Chicago reached 100 degrees at 3 p.m. local time -- but the heat index made it feel like 111.

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In Kansas City, Mo., the heat was suspected of contributing to the deaths of a man and an infant, KSHB-TV reported.

Meteorologists expect little relief over the next couple of weeks.

"This overall pattern looks like it is going to stick around well into July," Alex Sosnowski, a meteorologist with AccuWeather.com, told Reuters.

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"It looks pretty much rock solid centered on the Central Plains and Central Rockies over into the Tennessee Valley interior south," Sosnowski said. "It's anchored in there and it's really not going to change much."

Sosnowski said temperatures would spike toward 100 degrees from Chicago to Washington D.C. and possibly New York every now and then, and areas from Colorado to the interior of the Carolinas would have little hope for temporary relief.

Temperatures will push 90 degrees most days in New York, Washington and Philadelphia the next two weeks, while Denver, Kansas City and the middle of the nation will tend to see high temperatures pushing 100 degrees, he said.

The dry conditions and high temperatures have exacerbated wildfires in western states, and have threatened corn crops and stressed livestock in the Central Plains.

In Sidney, Neb., Keith Rexroth is in the middle of harvesting wheat that's ready earlier than normal due to the spring heat.

One of the worst parts about dealing with temperatures above 110, he told the Associated Press, was the feeling of the heat hitting his body as he leaves an air-conditioned environment.

"It'll give you an instant headache," Rexroth said.

More than 1,000 temperature records broken in a week

Rexroth rotates different duties on his harvest crew to give them breaks from the heat. Rexroth's combine is air-conditioned, but the grain truck is not.

"The short straw is the truck," he said.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photos: Summertime living

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  1. Dancing in the heat

    Karli Baumert, of Pryor, Okla., and Max Cowdery, of Bremerton, Wash., dance by water sprinklers at the Lincoln Memorial to cool off during the punishing heat gripping Washington on July 3. (Larry Downing / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Sweet sip

    A honeybee drinks from a fountain on the campus of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., on July 1. The temperature was forecast to top 100 degrees for the third day in a row. (Allen Breed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Where's my towel?

    People crowd the beach at Coney Island in Brooklyn, N.Y., on June 30. About 3.9 million homes and businesses were without power on Saturday amid a record heat wave in the eastern United States after deadly thunderstorms downed power lines from Indiana to New Jersey. (Eric Thayer / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Muddy fun

    A tourist dances as she celebrates Asar Pandhra festival in Pokhara valley, west of Nepal's capital Kathmandu, on June 29. Farmers in Nepal celebrate the festival to mark the start of planting rice in paddy fields. (Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. One hot momma

    Evelyn Wood fans herself as relief from the heat as her daughter Sherri Smith, right, both of Wichita Falls, Texas, applies a cold towel as they celebrate Wood's 80th birthday, on June 29, in Washington, D.C., where temperatures reached the upper 90s. (David Goldman / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Swingin' sunset

    Fairgoers enjoy the sunset from a ride at the Garrard County Fair on June 28, near Bryantsville, Ky. (Ben Kleppinger / The Advocate-Messenger via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Cool dive

    Terrill Shepard, 16, jumps into Lasker Pool in New York City on June 28. The city’s 55 outdoor pools opened to the public for the season on Thursday. (Seth Wenig / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Hanging out

    Ephriam Ko, 6, climbs high in a stand of bamboo as his father, Van Thawng, tends to his crops at the Global Growers Network's Bamboo Creek Farm in Stone Mountain, Ga., on June 24. The new 14-acre incubator farm is designed for farmers who have fled their native countries to seek new agricultural opportunities. Most of the farmers grow crops native to their homeland for their own consumption and to sell to other resettled refugees in the metro Atlanta area. (Erik S. Lesser / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Mine! Mine! Mine!

    Detroit Tigers right fielder Ryan Raburn (25) leaps to catch a fly ball hit by Pittsburgh Pirates' Josh Harrison during the eighth inning in Pittsburgh on June 24. The Tigers won 3-2. (Gene J. Puskar / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Out for a walk

    People take part in the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island in Brooklyn, N.Y., on June 23. The Mermaid Parade is Coney Island's homage to the Mardi Gras which lasted from 1903 to 1954. (Eric Thayer / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Watch your step

    Russian Cossacks perform a traditional dance with sabers during the annual Mansky festival, dedicated to the opening of the amateur rafting season, by the Mana river near Beret in the Siberian Taiga on June 22. Local nature-lovers, fans of ecological tourism and devotees of the festival have gathered for more than 30 years to travel by rafts, take part in the overnight festivities and rest around campfires. (Ilya Naymushin / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Celebrating summer

    Gleu Sunpooja stands in front of Stonehenge as solstice revelers celebrate the arrival of the midsummer sunrise at the megalithic monument on June 21, near Salisbury, England. The solstice sunrise marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. (Matt Cardy / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. No cold feet

    Girls leap through a wall of water at Yards Park in Washington, D.C., on June 21. (Jacquelyn Martin / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Got sunblock?

    People brave high temperatures while practicing bikram yoga as part of the annual Mind Over Madness event in Times Square on June 20 in New York City. The free yoga classes are held annually on the summer solstice amid the bustle of Times Square, considered one of the busiest places on earth. (John Moore / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Cool fun

    Jashante' Holland, 9, dips and swings Aaliyah Stanley, 3, in the middle of the fun wagon sprinkler at Woodside Village in Danville, Va., on June 20. (Steven Mantilla / Register & Bee via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Heads up

    Solomon Hightower splashes into the pool at Charlie Morris Aquatic Center in Memphis, Tenn., on June 19. Hightower joined a group of fellow golfing enthusiasts from the Memphis Athletic Ministries golf program for their weekly swim at the aquatic center. (Jim Weber / The Commercial Appeal via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Arf?

    A dog rides a surfboard in the Seventh Annual Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition, in Imperial Beach, Calif., on June 16. The event was to benefit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (David Maung / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Ahhhh

    An Indian man bathes his horse on a hot day in Allahabad, India, on June 15. Northern India has been sweltering under extreme heat as maximum temperatures soared at most places of the region. (Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Cool ride

    A boy rides a water slide in the northern German city of Hameln on May 22 as the temperature reached 86 degrees. (Julian Stratenschulte / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Race ya!

    Young men run to the Gulf of Mexico at Perdido Key, Fla., on May 20. Two years after an offshore oil well explosion devastated tourism in the region, the Gulf Coast is a popular destination once again, thanks in part to millions of dollars worth of promotion funded by the well's owner, BP. (Sean Gardner / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Water break

    A Pakistani girl cools off in a water channel in Lahore on May 11. Heatwave conditions in Pakistan have pushed temperatures above 104 degrees in many parts of the country. (Arif Ali / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Hail the water nymphs

    Belarussian villagers wearing traditional clothes gather to celebrate the pagan holiday of Rusalye, devoted to water nymphs, in the village of Sosny, Belarus, on June 10. According to legend, mermaids come out of the water during the spring and summer to visit the village, and walk through fields and meadows. (Viktor Drachev / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Wheee!

    Harper Marquez, 1, squeals with delight as her father, Roberto Marquez, swings her into the Jane K. Lowe Children's Fountain in downtown Huntsville, Ala., on June 7. (Glenn Baeske / Huntsville Times via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Smoothing the way

    Lifeguard Sam McCabe of Richmond Heights cleans the water slide at the Maplewood Family Aquatic Center in Maplewood, Mo., on May 24, in preparation for it's opening Memorial Day holiday weekend. (Laurie Skrivan / St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. A clean sweep

    Children from a local secondary school take part in a mass cleanup at the world-famous Echo beach in Perenenan village, Bali, on June 12. The association responsible, Gumi Lestari, is running a project to get the local community involved in protecting the environment. Bali, one of the world's top surf spots, has a huge problem with trash, most of which is the result of tourism. (Mike Clarke / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Dancing in the streets

    Young dancers perform as they march in the National Puerto Rican Day Parade on New York's Fifth Ave., on June 10. The parade has been an annual event in New York since 1958 and has grown to be one of the city's largest. (Richard Drew / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Bursting bubbles

    Billie Burgess, 9, jumps to burst a giant bubble on the South Bank in London during a spell of hot weather. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. All wet

    A boy cools himself as he sits under a fountain on a hot summer day in New Delhi on May 31, when the temperature reached 113 degrees Fahrenheit. (Adnan Abidi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Lazing in the lake

    Kayla Riggins and David Gregory play on an inflatable raft in Hartwell Lake at Darwin Wright Park in Anderson, S.C., on May 25. (Sefton Ipock / The Independent-Mail via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. A need for speed

    A body surfer rides a wave during high tide at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on May 22. (Christophe Simon / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Welcome clouds

    The setting sun illuminates dark rain clouds above the eastern Indian city of Calcutta on June 9. The clouds heralded the season's first rainfall, a welcome relief from the hot weather. (Piyal Adhikary / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Blowin' in the wind

    Winnie Pajcic, 9, holds on to a railing during a visit to Stockton Park in Ortega, Fla., in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Beryl on May 28. Beryl came ashore several days earlier near Jacksonville Beach with winds of 70 mph. (Kelly Jordan / The Florida Times-Union via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Cool kitty

    A Bengal tiger gets a spray of water from a zookeeper on a hot summer day at the Birsa Munda Zoological Park in Ranchi, India, on May 30. Zoo authorities were helping the animals cope with temperatures topping 104 degrees by providing coolers, special roofs and regular hose-downs. (AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Gone fishin'

    Shawn Davis and his 5-year old son Emerson fly-fish for trout in Spring Creek near Bellefonte, Penn., on the evening of June 10. (Gary Cameron / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. Splish, splash

    Xavier Willis, 7, throws a container of water into the air as he jumps into Dallas Bay at Chester Frost Park in Hixson, Tenn. on June 12. Temperatures climbed to the mid 80s under mostly sunny skies. (Doug Strickland / Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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