Phoenix broke the heat record in 1974

Usually around this time of year, a few bulbs will start to light up. On the contrary, Mr. McGinty said, “Every fruit on the plant is open and they shouldn’t be. Heat shuts down plants. They are in survival mode at this point. But, he said, cotton yield has been affected more than last year due to drought.

In the far east, residents of the southern states are facing long periods of hot and muggy days. Heat indices, which measure how hot it feels outside by taking into account both temperature and humidity, are expected to exceed 100 degrees this week in several cities, including Jackson, Miss., Montgomery, Ala., and Tallahassee, Fla.

On Monday afternoon, Ralph Horton was driving east to his home in Dalpoosa, Ga., along Interstate 20 when he stopped in Vicksburg, Miss., for a rest stop.

He traveled from Texas, where he spent a few days. “Oh my God, it was hot,” he said.

On Monday, he stood overlooking the Mississippi River anticipating a different kind of heat — the kind that’s oppressive even when temperatures don’t reach triple digits. “The humidity kills in this part of the country,” Mr. Horton said.

The area where he stood was already under a heat advisory, with heat indices forecast to reach 110 degrees on Tuesday.

Reporting contributed Maggie Miles, Jack Healy and Sheryl Kornman.

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