Heat waves still going strong in the West and East, but a cool down is on its way

(NEW YORK) — Unrelenting heat waves are still pounding the Northeast and Pacific Northwest — but cooler weather is on its way for East Coast residents.

Heat is a silent killer. On average, more people die from heat than any other severe weather, including tornadoes, hurricanes or flooding, according to the National Weather Service.

In Seattle’s King County, at least two people, both in their 60s, have died from the heat, The Seattle Times reported, citing the King County Medical Examiner’s office. In Benton County, Washington, a 73-year-old woman with underlying conditions died; the cause was related to hyperthermia from the heat, said coroner William Leach.

President Joe Biden addressed the historic heat on Wednesday, saying, “We need people to check on their neighbors, especially seniors, who may need a helping hand.”

The dangerous heat also struck Canada. Since the heat wave began, British Columbia saw “a significant increase in deaths” — about 100 more than usual — and it’s suspected that the weather was a contributing factor, the chief coroner for British Columbia, Lisa Lapointe, said in a statement Tuesday.

The record heat is over in Seattle and Portland. But on Tuesday, Spokane in eastern Washington hit a new record high temperature — 109 degrees.

The heat will continue for eastern Washington, eastern Oregon and California on Wednesday, and is also spreading into Montana and Idaho, where temperatures could climb above 100 degrees.

The hot and dry weather is also helping to fuel fires; there are now 47 large wildfires burning in the West.

Meanwhile, the Northeast is on its last day of its scorching heat wave.

Hartford, Connecticut, and Manchester, New Hampshire, smashed records Tuesday at 99 and 98 degrees respectively.

More record highs are possible Wednesday with temperatures in the upper 90s. It may feel like 102 degrees in Washington, D.C., 104 in Philadelphia and 101 in New York City.

Click here for tips on how to stay safe in a heat wave.

Severe weather will then move into the Northeast Wednesday afternoon. A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect from western New York to Maine. Wind gusts will post the biggest threat from Albany to Boston to Portland, and isolated large hail and brief tornadoes are possible.

Then the Northeast will get a cool down. By Friday and Saturday temperatures will fall to the mid 80s in Philadelphia and New York, and plunge to the 60s in Boston.

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