June 30th, 2012
02:35 PM ET

Will 2012 be the hottest summer on record?

Nearly 52 record-high temperatures for 2012 have been reached in the past seven days, according to CNN meteorologist Sean Morris.

Summer has definitely arrived in the United States with record-breaking temperatures soaring into the triple digits, and relief is slow to follow. The sizzling heat may not subside for a week, possibly longer.

From Kansas to Washington, heat warnings, watches and advisories spanned 730,000 square miles, affecting about 100 million people on Friday alone.

Excessive heat warnings were posted for 12 states, from Nebraska to New Jersey, on Friday by the National Weather Service.

As fierce thunderstorms battered their way across the Midwest to the Atlantic Seaboard on Friday night, the wicked weather caused mass power outages, leaving residents to suffer the heat without air conditioning.

Deaths possibly related to the heat are still being investigated. People are checking on their neighbors, and cities are putting cooling centers into place and extending pool hours.

The temperatures soaring above 100 degrees are nowhere near normal for this time of year in the United States, Morris said.

But we've experienced hideously hot ones before the dog days of summer officially set in before.

Last year - which was declared the hottest summer on record  in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico by The Weather Channel - featured some wicked days.

In its list of all-time record highs, The Weather Channel reported that Childress, Texas, climbed to 117 degrees on June 26 last year, beating any temperature on record for any month, dating back to 1893.

Borger, Texas, and Gage, Oklahoma, both hit 113 degrees on June 26, while Fort Smith, Arkansas, hit 115 degrees on August 3.

If the temperatures are climbing dangerously high in your city, be sure to check our five tips to survive extreme heat.

How are you beating the heat in your area? Let us know in the comments below.

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Filed under: Heat • Weather
Instagram down in mass power outage
June 30th, 2012
12:12 PM ET

Instagram down in mass power outage

Breakfasts everywhere went undocumented on social media Saturday morning because photo-sharing site Instagram is still down after a line of powerful storms caused mass power outages across the Midwest  and Atlantic Seaboard on Friday night.

Fierce thunderstorms and high winds, some topping 80 miles per hour, whipped across Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Washington and Virginia, leaving debris, hot temperatures and no power to combat the record-breaking heat.

In addition to Instagram, Mashable and Forbes reported that on Friday night Netflix and Pinterest, powered by Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud, also were down because of weather affecting the region. The majority of those accounts, and the sites themselves, appear to be up and running again.

However, on Saturday morning, people were still taking to Twitter and Facebook, complaining or poking fun at the impact of Instagram, based in northern Virginia, going dark.

Some tweets encouraged people to enjoy the blackout by leaving technology behind for the weekend, that it's OK to eat breakfast and drink coffee without sharing a photo of it with the rest of the world via social media. Other tweets joked that many people would go undocumented on Facebook or Twitter as long as Instagram was down because of the site's various photo-enhancing filters.

A similar conversation ensued when Twitter experienced a widespread outage on June 21, its largest since October 2011.

More on social media:

Photos: Our mobile addiction

When losing e-mail is like a snow day

Instagram: My addiction and affliction

Viral vigilantism, Tony Hawk style

Instagram and the rise of photo apps

Instagram wants photos to be seen beyond 10-hour window

How to behave on Instagram

Do you fly into a panic when your favorite social media site goes temporarily dark? Or does it allow you to disconnect? Let us know in the comments below.

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Filed under: Social media • Technology