World

Record Heat in Three Continents; U.S. Dome of Heat to Expand.

Extreme heat broiling broad sections of three continents setting new heat records which eclipse any readings recorded over the instrument age extending back to the late 1880’s

Phoenix, AZ which recorded a 118° high temp on Tuesday and has seen the most consecutive 105° or higher max temps (19 of them) logged a record high nighttime min overnight of 97°, the 9th consecutive low temp at or above 90°, another new record—NASA scientist, Dr. James Hansen, credited with sounding the first widespread alarm of our move toward a superheated climate in testimony before congress in the late 1980s says “we are damned fools” for not acting vigorously on warnings of a superheated climate.

Hansen’s comments are contained in this article Wednesday morning in The Guardian:

ABOUT THE HEAT IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA

Phoenix isn’t alone in this country with the heat—far from it. But as the Associated Press notes in its reporting on the heat there: “No other major city – defined as the 25 most populous in the United States – has had any stretch of 110°F (43.3°C) days or 90°F (32.2C) nights longer than Phoenix….” citing the words of weather historian Christopher Burt of the Weather Company.

READ THE FULL AP ARTICLE on Phoenix’s heat HERE

We here in Chicago have escaped the worst of the heat to date—ironically the product of a northwest upper flow around the periphery of the record-breaking dome of heat which is sprawled across the southern U.S. Regular eruptions of powerful thunderstorms within these upper winds on the periphery of the hot dome, have mixed cooler air down to the surface, tempering the heat here. Areas within the core of the hot air pools haven’t been as lucky.

Air masses as superheated as the one over the southern U.S. and over swaths of two other continents, EXPAND SO DRAMATICALLY—sending rain-extinguishing warmth so high into the atmosphere—that t-storm production is aborted. This expansion produces a “storm capping” effect. Absent regular thunderstorm development, the heat is able to build day after day.

The heat in Chicago may have been limited—but storms haven’t been, nor has the regular appearance of smoky skies off Canada’s record-breaking (and record early) fire season

While the heat here to date has been more moderate, we’ve not escaped the consequences of expanded heat and drought. Our airspace has been regularly visited by smoke off the record 25,000 square miles of forest which have burned—and continue burning—across Canada in that country’s worst fire season on record–and still a month away from what is typically the high point of its fire season.

And complicating fire fighting there and elsewhere is the fact these fires extend underground in what are known as ZOMBIE FIRES–a problem discussed in this interesting piece published on The Conversation website

Rescue crews pulled people from flooded homes in Kentucky where waves of pouring thunderstorms prompted Flash Flood warnings and watches.

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