Extreme Summer Heat No Fun with Wildfires, Heat Waves
Summer is usually a great time to ‘chill’ and unwind, but extreme summer heat is already here. Chilling may not be possible this year as raging wildfires and lethal heat waves are making life not so easy for residents in California and the Southwest.
Heat waves are already making their presence known as six people were killed due to scorching temperatures in Arizona. Five hikers died in extreme heat waves across Arizona. In addition, more than 30 million people are under heat warnings or advisories in the state.
The weather bureau predicts the start of the hottest summer ever in three states namely California, New Mexico and Arizona. This according to CNN Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.
Raging Wildfires in California
Wildfires are a now-and-then occurrence as summer approaches. In California, evacuations were ordered in San Diego County because fires continue to rage near the U.S.-Mexico border. A large wildfire also raged in Santa Barbara County which triggered forced mandatory evacuations.
CNN reports that three large fires are raging in New Mexico, Arizona and California. One was in the Dog Head Fire in northern New Mexico where 17,891 acres were burned and 9% contained as of Sunday night.
In Arizona, the Cedar Fire devoured 26,739 acres and was 40% contained as of Monday morning.
All Time High Temperatures
Some parts of the United States will melt as they experience all-time high temperatures this summer. Scorching temperatures may range from 100-120 degrees.
CNN reports that Santa Fe’s high of 102 degrees tied its hottest all-time temperature on record. This is also the case of Tucson’s high of 115 degrees which tied its third hottest temperature of all time.
Yuma’s high of 120 degrees tied for its fourth hottest day recorded cannot be ignored as well. Phoenix’s high of 118 degrees tied for its fifth hottest day.
Seven areas in western and central New Mexico broke heat records in addition to 14 places in California including Palm Springs, Thermal, Indio and Borrego.
Heat Dome as Culprit
A heat dome is to blame for the current heat wave. This phenomenon is a pattern that can lead to record-setting temperatures and heat waves.
A heat dome occurs when air is capped by the upper atmosphere in the same location. The air hits the cap and returns to the earth’s surface, continuing to heat it like a convection oven.