NWS Excessive Heat Warnings, Heat Warnings Cover US: Heat Updates
A dangerous, unrelenting heatwave scorched much of the southern, central and western United States on Thursday, bringing near record temperatures and an increased risk of wildfires across much of the country.
As of Thursday morning, more than 113 million Americans were on heat alert, the National Weather Service said. The warnings, which also include excessive heat warnings and heat alerts, stretched about 2,000 miles from Oregon to Louisiana.
According to AccuWeather, locations like Phoenix and Las Vegas, both of which have been under excessive heat warnings, could hit record highs in the next few days as temperatures soar to over 110 degrees.
“Unfortunately, the long-term prospects are to be expected through the weekend and into next week for an increasingly significant and oppressive heatwave,” the weather service said.
While the US is suffering from extreme heat, the planet as a whole just experienced its warmest June on record, climate researchers reported on Thursday.
Heat can be dangerous and deadly
Extreme heat and blazing sunshine can cause people to become dehydrated quickly, experts warn. AccuWeather warned, “People are being urged to avoid strenuous daytime activity, drink more fluids, and seek out an air-conditioned environment whenever possible to avoid the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”
“Please plan accordingly, this is not the time for hiking or extended stays outdoors,” the Los Angeles Weather Service office said on Twitter. “If you have to work outside, shift your working hours to the early morning, take frequent breaks and drink enough fluids!”
Extreme heat is the deadliest weather-related event in the United States. It kills more people than tornadoes or hurricanes combined.
Federal authorities report that about 700 Americans die from extreme heat each year, but some studies put the number closer to 1,300 deaths per year. Another study found that between 2008 and 2017, up to 20,000 deaths could be related to extreme heat.
June was the world’s hottest on record, according to NOAA and NASA
Our summer of heat records continued Thursday with announcements from NOAA and NASA that June 2023 was Earth’s hottest June on record. NOAA’s records date back to 1850, while NASA’s dates back to 1880.
According to NOAA, June 2023 was also the 47th consecutive June and the 532nd consecutive month with temperatures above 20th century averages.
Additionally, NOAA said the first half of 2023 was the third warmest on record, with a global temperature of 1.82 degrees above the 20th-century average. There is now a 97% chance that 2023 will be one of the five hottest years on record.
The European Copernicus Climate Change Service and Berkeley Earth also said it was the hottest June on record.
Scientists say the heat the planet will endure this year is due to a combination of human-caused global warming and the strengthening El Niño climate pattern in the Pacific Ocean.
“The outbreak of El Niño has implications for 2023 being in the running for the warmest year on record, combined with global warming,” Marshall Shepherd, a professor of meteorology at the University of Georgia, said last month.
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Death Valley could reach 130 degrees
California’s notorious hotspot Death Valley, home to the world’s highest temperature on record and one of the hottest places on earth, could hit 130 degrees over the weekend, meteorologists said. The world record air temperature of 134 degrees was set on July 10, 1913 in Death Valley at the Furnace Creek observation site, AccuWeather said.
The fear of forest fires is increasing
Meanwhile, California’s wildfire season increased amid hot, dry conditions, and a spate of fires erupted across the state this week, Natural Resources Agency minister Wade Crowfoot said.
“As we move deeper into summer and the vegetation that grew during the wet spring dries up, we are seeing an increase in wildfire activity,” Crowfoot told the state press during a news briefing on Wednesday.
A “clear signal on climate change”
Sure, it’s summer and it’s supposed to be hot. But the intensity and duration of this heatwave in cities like Phoenix is being exacerbated by human-caused climate change, experts say. “Of course we’re expecting hot summers[in Arizona]but part of what we’re seeing in climate change is longer and more intense heat waves,” said Kathy Jacobs, who directs the University of Arizona’s Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions.
Still, the intensity and duration of the current heat wave “isn’t what we would expect without climate change.” is.”
Featuring: Adrianna Rodriquez, USA TODAY; Brandon Loomis, Republic of Arizona; The Associated Press