Excessive Heat Watches Continue Throughout Pacific Northwest
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.”
In The News
GREENVILLE, Calif. (AP) — California's largest wildfire has leveled much of the downtown and some surrounding homes in a small... Read More
GREENVILLE, Calif. (AP) — California's largest wildfire has leveled much of the downtown and some surrounding homes in a small Northern California mountain community. The Dixie Fire tore through the Greenville on Wednesday evening, destroying businesses and homes as the sky was cast in an orange... Read More
President Joe Biden is expected to announce Thursday that his administration is setting a new national goal for the sale... Read More
President Joe Biden is expected to announce Thursday that his administration is setting a new national goal for the sale of electric vehicles -- wanting half of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2030 to be powered by electricity. The executive order Biden will... Read More
This article is by Sarah DeWeerdt and was originally published by Anthropocene magazine. Climate concern is increasing among all age groups, raising hopes... Read More
This article is by Sarah DeWeerdt and was originally published by Anthropocene magazine. Climate concern is increasing among all age groups, raising hopes that different generations can work together to solve the climate crisis, the authors of a new study say. There’s lots of evidence that climate change awareness... Read More
WASHINGTON -- Sens. Michael Crapo, R-Idaho, and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., proposed legislation on Thursday that would grant tax credits to... Read More
WASHINGTON -- Sens. Michael Crapo, R-Idaho, and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., proposed legislation on Thursday that would grant tax credits to energy companies innovating carbon capture or energy storage tech. The legislation, entitled the “Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act of 2021,” would establish investment credits for qualified... Read More
BLY, Ore. (AP) — Firefighters in Oregon reported good progress in the battle against the nation's largest wildfire, while authorities... Read More
BLY, Ore. (AP) — Firefighters in Oregon reported good progress in the battle against the nation's largest wildfire, while authorities canceled evacuation orders near a major blaze in Northern California and another on Hawaii's Big Island. Containment of the Bootleg Fire in remote southern Oregon was... Read More
Heat waves across the country this year have shattered temperature records, and climate scientists expect it to keep getting worse.... Read More
Heat waves across the country this year have shattered temperature records, and climate scientists expect it to keep getting worse. Some policy options for dealing with the lethal and inequitable impact of heat have been recommended by researchers. In addition to increasing risk for numerous health... Read More