UK & World News
Northeast America Bakes In Summer Heatwave
A sweltering heatwave is smothering the northeast of America, with temperatures in some areas expected to break records.
The soaring temperatures coincide with the first full day of summer and are affecting some of the country's most densely-populated cities. Heat advisories and warnings are in effect from Virginia to Maine.
In the centre of New York City, the National Weather Service is predicting the mercury could climb up to 36.6 degrees Celsius (98F), beating the previous record for June 21, 1997, of 36.1C (97F).
Average highs for this time of the year in the city are usually around 27.2C (81F).
Officials are urging people to stay indoors if they can, and have set up 450 cooling centres for people who do not have air conditioning or cannot afford to keep it on all day and night.
Utility companies are asking customers to conserve energy and have forecast a new power consumption that would top last summer's peak.
On Wednesday, it was 34.4C (94F) in Central Park, but because of the high humidity it felt closer to 36.1C (97F), and at La Guardia and Newark airports it hit 36.6C (98F), passing records set in 1953 of 35.5C (96F) and 36.1C (97F).
A number of people were taken to hospital after suffering heat exhaustion at high school graduation ceremonies being held across the region, with some schools even closing for the summer a day early to beat the heat.
In Washington DC, it was 36.1C (97F) but felt like 38.8C (101f), and in a rare exception to the no-drinks policy on its Metro system, passengers were permitted to drink water on Wednesday and Thursday.
Philadelphia is also expecting record-breaking temperatures over the coming days.
Relief will not come until the weekend, when thunderstorms are forecast and the temperature is expected to drop back down to the 80s.