CHICAGO, June 30 (Reuters) – Half of the population in the United States was urged on Friday to take precautions when outdoors, due to the relentless heat wave or poor air quality caused by the Canadian wildfires ahead of the 4th of July long weekend.
About 80 million people living in California, the Deep South and the lower Mississippi Valley were placed on daytime and weekend excessive heat warnings and advisories ahead of the holiday Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.
Heat indices — a measure that combines temperature and humidity — are expected to rise well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) in many parts of California and in the two regions on Friday. Meteorologists have recommended people not to participate in strenuous outdoor activities, especially in the middle of the day, and to drink plenty of water.
Up north through the Midwest and East, another 100 million Americans faced another day of smoky skies and poor air quality alerts from raging wildfires in Canada.
The Weather Service said people, especially those young, old and suffering from respiratory problems, should consider limiting strenuous outdoor activities in those areas.
New York and Washington respectively have the second and third worst air quality of all major cities in the world, according to IQAir.com, which tracks global air pollution.
Some people in eastern Illinois and western Indiana faced a hot, humid day of compromised air quality Friday without power after severe storms Thursday night downed power lines and trees.
About 280,000 homes and businesses in the area were without power Friday morning, according to Poweroutage.us, which tracks outages across the U.S.
Reporting of Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; editing by Jonathan Oatis
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