Well, it’s almost the weekend again. Weekends in July: the perfect chance to get outside, head to a park, play a game of baseball.
You should not do anything of those things this weekend if you live in basically 90 percent of America.
This is Weather.com’s Severe Weather Alerts map. If you click through, you can see specific warnings for wherever you live. But you’ll notice one thing right away: several of these United States are going to be hot.
New York City will be “hot as Hell” in the evocative words of one blog. Chicago is under an EPA-issued air pollution warning due to ozone; it’s already had six more 90 degree-plus days than its summer average. Washington, D.C., is under an excessive heat warning for tomorrow, with air quality that will be “unhealthy for general population.” When weather forecasters are saying things like “breathing outside is unhealthy,” you should maybe not go outside.
The list of air quality warnings from the government is a doozy. At least 25 different regions are currently experiencing air quality alerts – and today is to tomorrow what the Arctic is to Tijuana. (The Arctic circa 2012, not the Arctic circa 2112.)
In short: If you go outside at all in the regions marked in orange on that map, you will either burn to a crisp or suffocate, neither of which is healthy. Here’s what the CDC says you should do in excessive heat, but we have our own tips. Stay inside, drink fluids, read posts at Grist.org. It’s what doctors (that is, us) recommend.