The first eight months of 2012 have been the hottest ever recorded in the continental U.S., according to the National Climatic Data Center.. Check out these impacts of the extreme heat.
The first six months of 2012 were already on the books as the warmest half-year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. June, July and August marked the third hottest summer ever.
Dehydration causes dangerous blood glucose fluctuations, which sends diabetes out of control, according to Dr. Robert Feldman, an attending emergency room physician at Stroger Hospital in Chicago.
The heat has forced employers to shift workers’ schedules, especially those in construction, landscaping and other outdoor jobs.
Ranchers in Kansas reported that cows are going to slaughter earlier, because the heat and lack of rainfall has caused grass to not grow fast enough.
NPR reported that an indoor medical marijuana grower in Grand Rapids, Mich., stated that the extreme heat has killed half of his crop, even with fans and two air conditioners running constantly.
Stockpiles of corn have fallen 48 percent from March to June this year because of the heat, reported Time magazine. The percentage of the corn crop with top-quality ratings was 48 percent as of July 1, compared with 69 percent a year ago.
The summer heat wave is blamed for at least 46 deaths across the Midwest and on the East Coast so far this year, according to the Associated Press. Heat is the top weather-related killer in the United States, taking about 115 lives each year, according to the National Weather Service.
According to the American Automobile Association, overheating is one of the most common causes for car breakdowns. It increases the possibility for accidents, causes great inconveniences and often results in costly repairs.
Scorching temperatures are extremely dangerous for pets. Five dogs died in early July 2012 in Iredell, N.C., because they were left outside in places that did not have water or shelter.
Utility bills have skyrocketed in the summer heat. In Iowa, utility companies are owed almost $23 million in unpaid power bills, according to Jerry McKim, director of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program in Iowa.
According to Time magazine, drought-ridden communities around the country were forced to cancel fireworks shows and ban the use of personal fireworks on the Fourth of July until rain lessens the chance of wildfire.
Highways and railroads can sometimes buckle in extreme heat. In Grand Forks, N.D., a piece of city highway split in two because of excessively high temperatures. Also, the Missouri Department of Transportation issued a warning for motorists to be on the alert for roads “blowing up.”
The heat wave has seen a rise in cases of heat stroke and dehydration. Officials said 13 people were taken to the hospital for heat-related illnesses following President Barack Obama’s outdoor campaign speech at Carnegie Mellon University on July 6, 2012.
The extreme heat caused a U.S. Airways plane to get stuck in the tarmac at Reagan National Airport on July 6, 2012. The temperature reached 100 degrees in Washington on that day, which apparently softened the airport paving enough to immobilize the airplane, reported the Washington Post.