TODAY

TODAY   |  July 16, 2013

Heat wave scorches much of US

From Chicago to the East Coast, temperatures are soaring in a heat wave that is expected to be “prolonged.” NBC’s Peter Alexander reports and TODAY’s Al Roker gives the forecast.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> massive heat wave gripping a large section of the country. stifling humidity. this morning it's intensifying. peter alexander is in washington where another scorching day is on tap. good morning to you.

>> you're right. we had breeze through here it should be the coolest part of the day. it's going to reach a high of the upper 90s but it's going to feel like the heat index with humidity here. more like 105 by midday. the real story the persistence of this heat. for us it's day two of a week long stretch.

>> hits one way, back, back.

>> at ctit field in new york last night home runs were soring and so was the temperaturing.

>> 88 degrees with humidity that made it feel like it was in the 90s. again today parts of the northeast will feel like what one forecaster called a virtual sauna bath.

>> awesome.

>> it's never too hot for them. it's never too hot for them.

>> in chicago today 91 will feel like 98. hartford, 99.

>> you have to try to get your workout in early before the sun comes out.

>> in philadelphia, a high of 97 but it will feel like triple digits, 100 degrees forcing seen wro wr -- seniors to find air conditioning inside. power companies are trying to keep up.

>> if there's an outage it will be minimized and held to effect the fewest people for the shortest period of time.

>> while it may not be enough to shatter many records this heat streak is as oppressive as dangerous.

>> what makes this unusual is the fact that it's going to be so prolonged and it's going to grow each day.

>> here in d.c.

>> i'm wiping sweat. i'm hot.

>> the closest thing to relief.

>> while tourists and seasoned ones plan their escape.

>> explore the museums.

>> we have water bottles as well and portable sand and we're not wearing big clothes.

>> to add insult to injury this morning, matt, we're learning more about a water pipeline problem in prince george 's county maryland. they are warning people to begin stocking up on water immediately. this problem could mean a water shorta shortage and the peak of summer heat could last for days.

>> peter, thank you very much. al still on the plaza. how long is this going to last al?

>> for a lot of us it will last on into saturday. the jet stream is way up to the north. the huge dome of high pressure stretching from the northwest to mid-atlantic into the midwest is going to cause problems. we expect this high to continue to dominate. continue to pump in that warm air. we have heat advisories, heat watches and excessive heat warnings from michigan into new england including south of boston. look at the temperatures, going to feel like 160 degrees in richmond. 102 in salisbury maryland. atlantic city it will feel like 97. 100 in central connecticut and the problem is the heat isn't going away. out west, seattle 87. 96 and 92 in portland so the heat goes on for at least another 72 hours , matt.

>>> all right, al, we'll get your local forecast in a