facebook linkedin twitter

Excessive Heat Watches Continue Throughout Pacific Northwest

June 28, 2021 by Reece Nations
People gather at the Sandy River Delta, in Ore., to cool off during the start of what should be a record-setting heat wave on June 25, 2021. The Pacific Northwest sweltered Friday as a historic heat wave hit Washington and Oregon, with temperatures in many areas expected to top out 25 to 30 degrees above normal in the coming days. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP)

After a record-breaking heatwave scorched swathes of the Pacific Northwest over the weekend, excessive heat watches continued to be in effect for regions stretching from Northern California to British Columbia, Canada.

The heatwave, which climate scientists say is a one in a 1000-year event or greater, is the hottest weather event ever recorded. Over the last 30 years on average, heat waves have caused more deaths nationally than any other form of weather event including hurricanes and tornadoes, according to National Weather Service data.

“Yesterday, Portland International Airport reported 112 ℉ [44.4 ℃] far exceeding any historical precedent,” Robert Rohde, lead scientist of Berkeley Earth, an independent non-profit organization focused on environmental data science, said in a Tweet. “That would be like Dallas reaching 130 ℉ [54 ℃] or Madrid at 120 ℉ [49 ℃]. Today, Portland is forecast to be even hotter at 114 ℉ [45.5 ℃].” 

This stretch of extreme heat is being caused by a vast “heat dome,” or a huge pocket of hot air trapped under a high-pressure system combined with stronger-than-usual winds brought on by La Niña, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Studies indicate that severe heat events are estimated on average to be between three and five degrees hotter than they otherwise would be without the impact of decades worth of greenhouse gases released by the man-made burning of fossil fuels.

On Sunday, temperatures reached 112 degrees in Vancouver, Wash., 115 degrees in The Dalles, Ore., and 116 degrees in Lytton, British Columbia. All of these represent a record high in their respective localities, and the temperature recorded Sunday in Lytton represents the highest temperature recorded in Canada in any month.

“I estimate that Portland International Airport reaching 112 °F [44.4 °C] is roughly 4.3 standard deviations above the historical mean,” Rohde said on Twitter. “Historically, we’d expect a deviation that large to happen on roughly one day out of every 350 years. But things aren’t the same anymore. Climate change is loading the dice. By adding a few degrees of warmth to the climate, historically improbable events are suddenly occurring with alarming frequency.”

Seattle’s temperature climbed to 104 degrees Sunday, topping its previous record of 103 degrees set in 2009. However, Seattle’s temperature was forecast by meteorologists to exceed its own record-setting high on Monday, potentially topping out at 109 degrees.

Likewise, Portland is expected to break its own day-old heat record with a high of 115 degrees on Monday. Prior to the weekend surge in hot weather, Portland’s previous record high stood at 107 degrees set in 1981.

“It’s critical that people do what they can to avoid the heat as temperatures get to the level where they can cause serious health problems,” Richard Leman, public health physician at the Oregon Health Authority said in a written statement. “Temperatures that get above 100 are nothing to take casually. These conditions can be extremely dangerous if we don’t take care of ourselves.”

Climate

UN: Greenhouse Gas Levels Hit a New Record, Cuts Fall Short

GENEVA (AP) — Greenhouse gas concentrations hit a new record high last year and increased at a faster rate than... Read More

GENEVA (AP) — Greenhouse gas concentrations hit a new record high last year and increased at a faster rate than the annual average for the last decade despite a temporary reduction during pandemic lockdowns, the World Meteorological Organization said in a report published Monday. The news... Read More

October 21, 2021
by TWN Staff
Government Unveils Suite of Analyses on Climate Change

Several federal agencies representing the core of the executive branch’s national security and foreign policy apparatus, are releasing a suite... Read More

Several federal agencies representing the core of the executive branch’s national security and foreign policy apparatus, are releasing a suite of reports on the impact of climate change at home and abroad, and particularly on how to deal with the refugees a changing world climate is... Read More

Study: Fossil Fuel Plans Would Far Overshoot Climate Goals

LONDON (AP) — The world needs to cut by more than half its production of coal, oil and gas in... Read More

LONDON (AP) — The world needs to cut by more than half its production of coal, oil and gas in the coming decade to maintain a chance of keeping global warming from reaching dangerous levels, according to a U.N.-backed study released Wednesday. The report published by... Read More

October 15, 2021
by Reece Nations
Tech Innovation ‘Fundamental Foundation’ of Feasibly Solving Climate Crisis

WASHINGTON -- The foundations of what could prove to be the next great innovations in climate change prevention technology were... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The foundations of what could prove to be the next great innovations in climate change prevention technology were laid out and dissected during a Brookings Institution webinar this week. Sanjay Patnaik, director of Brookings Center on Regulation and Markets, hosted a virtual discussion on... Read More

October 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
National Weather Service Asks for Help to Face Climate Change Challenges

WASHINGTON -- National Weather Service officials tried to convince a congressional panel Thursday that now is the time to prepare... Read More

WASHINGTON -- National Weather Service officials tried to convince a congressional panel Thursday that now is the time to prepare for escalating travails of global warming. Staffing and technology needs will only grow, meaning any successes in weather forecasting in recent years could be short-lived, they... Read More

October 8, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Federal Agencies Release Plans For Adapting to Global Warming

WASHINGTON -- More than 20 federal agencies released their plans Thursday to adapt to climate change in response to an... Read More

WASHINGTON -- More than 20 federal agencies released their plans Thursday to adapt to climate change in response to an order from President Joe Biden. The plans explain how they will maintain the continuity of government service despite rising temperatures that will strain their personnel, buildings... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top