Western United States is predicted to experience record-breaking temperatures – especially in the states of California and Nevada, as extreme heat conditions is building up. This forecast follows another dangerous heat wave North America just a few weeks ago with the region experiencing the hottest June on record.
A high of 54.4C (130F) was recorded in California’s Death Valley on Friday and the forecast is of experiencing similar temperatures in the weekend too.
Authorities have issued excessive heat warnings to millions of people in the US. People affected by extreme heat have been advised by the National Weather Service to intake plenty of water and stay inside air conditioned buildings.
The Friday’s temperature recorded in the Death Valley touched a record temperature noted in August 2020 – which has been argued by some to be the highest temperature ever reliably recorded on Earth. In 1913, a temperature of 56.7C (134F) was recorded but that has been disputed by some climate experts.
According to fire fighters who were busy trying to douse the many wildfires in the region, the air had become so dry and arid that a large part of the water dropped from aircrafts and helicopters to douse flames evaporated even before it reached the ground.
People have been forced to evacuated their homes in the north of Nevada, near the border with California because of wildfires that were triggered by lightning strikes and which devastated parts of the Sierra Nevada forest region.
The current heat wave could even exceed Las Vegas’s record of 47.2C (116F), said forecasters.
People in Oregon were ordered to evacuate after a wildfire, stoked by strong winds, in the Fremont-Winema National Forest spread from an area of almost 26 sq miles (67 sq km) on Thursday to almost 61 sq miles on the next day. People in California have been advised to save electricity by the power grid operators in California, by cutting down on use of appliances and by keeping thermostats higher during the evening when there is diminished solar energy or no longer available.
Extreme heat conditions has also hit Canada and forecast is of similar conditions to continue. However, according to weather experts, the temperatures are not expected to reach the highs seen at the end of last month when temperature of 49.6C (121F), was recorded in the village Lytton in British Columbia which beat the highest recorded temperature of the country.
An increase in hospital visits for heat-related illnesses and sudden deaths have also been seen because of the heat wave.
The frequency of extreme weather events, such as heat waves, is expected to increase because of climate change, say experts. How they also argued that it is very complicated to link any single event to global warming.
The very severe heat that was experienced in western Canada and the United States at the end of June was “virtually impossible” if there was no climate change, said a study by climate researchers.
(Adapted from BBC.com)