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Heat wave: 1,011 records fall in U.S. in a week

Feeling hot? It's not your imagination. Across the United States, hundreds of heat records have fallen in the past week.

From the wildfire-consumed Rocky Mountains to the sidewalks of Oklahoma where residents fried bacon, the temperatures are creating consequences ranging from catastrophic to comical.

In the past week, 1,011 records have been broken across the country, including 251 new daily high temperature records Tuesday.

While the National Climatic Data Center has been tracking the daily numbers broken for only a little more than a year, said Derek Arndt, head of climate monitoring at the center. It's still impressive, given that records usually aren't broken until July and August.

"Any time you're breaking all-time records in mid- to late-June, that's a healthy heat wave," Arndt said.

If forecasts hold, more records could fall in the coming days in the central and western parts of the country.

The heat wave "is bad now by our current definition of bad," said University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver, but "our definition of bad changes. What we see now will be far more common in the years ahead."

Cellphones to get emergency alerts: An emergency alert system launched this week will automatically send warnings to wireless customers who are in the path of dangerous weather.

The program, called the Wireless Emergency Alerts service, was launched by wireless carriers and the federal government.

Customers don't have to sign up for the service, and it's free. As long as your wireless device can receive the text messages, the weather warnings will come with a unique tone and vibration.

Information from St. Louis Post-Dispatch was used in this report.

Heat wave: 1,011 records fall in U.S. in a week 06/27/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 10:54pm]
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