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Heat continues to blast much of the U.S. as another Phoenix record falls

Phoenix broke its record warm low after it registered 97 degrees early Wednesday.
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The extreme heat that has broiled large parts of the U.S. for more than a month continued Thursday, with 87 million people from California to Florida under heat alerts and little relief in sight for much of the Southwest.  

The National Weather Service said Thursday that it anticipates triple-digit temperatures to continue through Saturday in the desert Southwest and Texas, while the Gulf Coast and much of the Southeast will see daytime temperatures in the upper 90s through Friday, with high levels of moisture in the air making temperatures feel more like 110-120 F in some spots.

By Saturday, parts of the Southeast will see some cooler temperatures, while much of the Southwest will continue under hazardous heat conditions.

The record-breaking heat is expected to persist into next week. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has forecast temperatures up to 70% higher than normal across Texas, Arizona, Florida and parts of the Midwest.

In Phoenix, daytime highs have soared above 110 F for 21 consecutive days, and on Wednesday the city registered its fourth-hottest temperature of all time at 119 F.

Nighttime temperatures aren’t providing much reprieve, with nightly lows in cities like Phoenix hovering in the 90s. On Wednesday, Phoenix broke its all-time record warm low after it registered 97 F in the early hours of the morning — the highest low temperature since the city began recording them in 1896.

Temperatures in El Paso, Texas, on Thursday will mark 35 straight days at 100 F or hotter, and in Florida, where above-normal sea surface temperatures are contributing to the extreme heat, Miami’s streak of 40 consecutive days with a heat index over 100 F continues.

The National Weather Service expects more record-breaking temperatures Thursday in cities affected by the heat wave, including Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff in Arizona; Las Vegas; El Paso; Palm Springs, California; and New Orleans.