A tenacious heatwave is crawling its way to the US.
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The heatwave was first struck in the Southwest and South, frying Phoenix in around 110F temperature for 11 consecutive days, and is now heading towards the East Coasts, Midwest and parts of the South. The National Weather Services has already triggered the forewarnings of “Excess Heat”.
The Heat index is expected to reach above 105 F in several places.
The thing responsible for baking half of the US is a heavy air mass, known as “heat dome” or a ridge, which is blowing over the lower 48. “Heat dome” is actually referring to a large air mass, falling down on Earth’s surface, describes meteorologist Greg Carbin, National Weather Service.
Particularly, the region that has an extreme atmospheric pressure boils itself up, due to the immense pressure of air sinking down and compresses, producing heat.
If the “heat dome” immerses in the already hot summer temperature, “then you put the ingredients together for a heatwave,” explained Carbin.
To our horrors, the heat is going to stay for longer than expected. The summer is going to arrive in many areas of the Mid-Atlantic States possibly on Saturday and proceed through midweek at least.
“That’s a fairly long run of hot temperatures,” said a research meteorologist, Jeff Weber, at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. “When you get into the three-four-five day heatwave tier is when it becomes dangerous for humans.”
This is because when the heat dome prolongs it stays, the heat magnifies itself to a greater degree, exposing individuals to extreme temperatures both night and day.
Even the night breeze doesn’t stand a chance to cool off when the heat dome is roaming around. So, from now onwards, prepare yourself for hotter temperatures. “As the heat continues it aggregates,” explained Weber.
“It will be very unpleasant,” he said.
This heat dome is likely to roam around due to the “stagnancy” in the environment, clarified by the National Weather Service’s Carbin.
As a matter of fact, there’s just not much wind lingering throughout the U.S. The jet stream that is a band of high atmospheric, powerful, westerly winds, has migrated north to Canada.
The heatwave is also expected to break some regular temperature records, as it had been seen in New Orleans in the past week. But the most concerning part about this is the heatwave duration.
“The persistence is the remarkable thing here,” said a climate scientist, Flavio Lehner, at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
The heatwave of today is going to be much warmer than the previous one, because of the constant climate change caused by humans.
Humans have baked Earth a little warmer over 1 degree Celsius (1.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since the late 1850s. Though, landmasses heated up more by over 1.5C.
As Earth endures more heat, climate scientists are anticipating heatwaves to upsurge in intensity, frequency and size due to alarming levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Today, the country is already facing frequent heatwaves since the 1960s.
In fact, climate change doesn’t trigger extreme climate situations like drought, heatwaves and storms – it only makes them worse!
It’s alarming for humanity, particularly when it’s about heatwaves. Considering all the climate events, the heatwave has killed more Americans than any other climatic disasters.