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Forecasts for 11 cities at core of heat dome as it nears peak intensity

Many locations - from Indianapolis to D.C. to Buffalo - are expected to reach a Level 4 HeatRisk, the highest level of risk to human health

Much of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley is now sizzling under a potentially record-breaking heat dome. The intense heat will spread eastward into the Northeast and New England on Thursday, and southward into the Mid-Atlantic by the weekend. Heat alerts are in effect across 14 states in the affected regions as officials warn people, especially those without access to air conditioning, to take precautions against heat illness.

Temperatures will soar into the mid-90s to near 100 in many locations, while heat indexes - a measure that also factors in the humidity - will rise to near 100 to 105. The heat won't necessarily be historic, but many calendar-day records are likely and some monthly records are possible.

The fact that the heat is occurring so early in the season and persisting over multiple days "will increase the danger of this heat beyond what the exact temperature values would suggest," the National Weather Service said.


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