Cities along the East Coast, from Richmond and Philly to New York and Boston, will be slammed this weekend with "abnormally hot" temps, which the Washington Post calls "an ominous signal of the effects of human-caused climate change." On Saturday, temperatures along the Eastern Seaboard are expected to soar into the 90s, which is about 20 degrees hotter than usual for this time of year, with about 125 million people expected to experience 90-degree-plus weather throughout the weekend. In some spots, that could mean record May highs, as well as records set for how early such heat arrived. An NBC News meteorologist notes that a "super rare" heat advisory for both New York and Boston is the first for May since at least 2006.
Yahoo notes that "while the singular cause of individual heat waves can be difficult to attribute to climate change, their growing frequency has been linked to the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere." According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the past seven years have been the hottest on record, and as those average temps continue to rise across the board, that also contributes to making individual heat waves more intense. "Every heat wave in the world is now made stronger and more likely to happen because of human-caused climate change," says climate scientist Friederike Otto.
The National Weather Service has released a special statement with advice for safely riding out the weekend's blast of heat, including with suggestions to "reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening," "wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing," and "stay hydrated with nonalcoholic beverages." Meanwhile, the NWS offers its predictions for the rest of the summer, and it thinks it's going to be an unusually hot one, especially for the Northeast—meaning, per the Post, that "the weather through the weekend may be a mere sneak preview of punishing heat to come." There's a bit of relief on the horizon: A cold front is set to sweep along the East Coast by Monday, with things starting to warm up again by the middle of the week. (Read more heat wave stories.)