Heat-related deaths have occurred in several states, including California and throughout the Midwest.

Thermometer Sun 40 Degres. Hot summer day. High Summer temperatures

The epicenter, though, is the American Southwest. In fact, in just five counties alone, there have been 147 who died of heat-related causes. That number is expected to rise during this scorching August.

The five counties are in just three states: Arizona, Nevada…and Texas.  

Here’s how it breaks down: 

Pima County, Arizona…which includes Tucson…leads the pack by a wide margin. There have been 64 heat-related fatalities in Pima County alone.

Mario Tama, Getty Images
Mario Tama, Getty Images

Next is Maricopa County, Arizona accounts for 39 deaths.

That include the entire Phoenix/Mesa/Chandler metro. In fact, Phoenix just got through what has turned out to be the hottest month (July 2023) of ANY US city on record.

That includes a 31-day spell through June and July where the daytime high reached at least 110 degrees.

Clark County, Nevada has logged 26 heat-related deaths. Clark County include most of the Las Vegas Metro area.

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You might be noticing a trend here.  If it seems like all of these deadly counties contain high-population cities, it’s not just coincidence.

Of course, higher populations are going to have higher rates of just about everything, not just heat deaths.

Some of it could also have to do with the phenomenon of Urban Heat Islands which we’ve talked about before.

The other two deadliest counties are in Texas (yes, technically we’re part of the Southwest).

Webb County (Laredo) has had 11 H.R.D’s and Harris County (Houston) has had 7.

Sweaty man trying to refresh from heat with fan

The thing that has people who track this sort of thing confused…is why there aren’t MORE HRDs this year.

Less severe summers have, in the past, lead to hundreds more deaths.

That’s not necessarily good news, though. One expert says what we’re probably seeing here is a drastic UNDERCOUNT of the number of heat-related deaths.

If there’s any bright side (?) at all, it could be that Farmer’s Almanac is predicted an unseasonably cold and snowy winter for much of the U.S.  That’s ALSO consistent with weather models on global warming and climate change.

KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...

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