This article was provided by AccuWeather.com.
A scorching heat wave is gripping much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation, setting an astonishing number of temperature records.
More than 3,000 temperature records have been shattered in the U.S. this past week, from June 28-July 4, 2012, according to NOAA. The tally of record high temperatures during the time period is 2,253, and the tally of maximum low temperature records is 936.
From July 1-July 4 alone, more than 1,000 record highs have fallen, while more than 600 maximum low temperature records have been broken.
Besides challenging daily records, some cities may have record streaks of high temperatures that will go down in the record books.
St. Louis is located in the heart of the heat wave. The mercury has soared to 100 degrees or higher for seven days in a row in St. Louis through July Fourth. If it hits 100 degrees through Friday, as expected, then it will be the second longest streak of 100-degree temperatures since 1936.
If Detroit manages to hit 90 degrees and higher through Saturday, as forecast, then the city will fall one day short of the longest streak of 90-degree temperatures ever recorded. The longest stretch of consecutive days at 90 degrees or higher for Detroit was 11 days set back in 1953.
The only sure thing about weather forecasts is that they’re wildly different all over the planet. Test your knowledge on the wild ranges in temperature, precipitation and more.
Extreme Weather Facts: Quiz Yourself
Sign up for the Live Science daily newsletter now
Get the world’s most fascinating discoveries delivered straight to your inbox.