The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: Reports From Pacific Northwest Heatwave Beta…Day 5
Dear Diary. Today will be the last day in which Heatwave Beta significantly impacts the Pacific Northwest, although above average heat will interact with super dry conditions going well into July, so please be careful out there. Tomorrow we will deal with another climate crisis related main subject, but before doing so let’s focus on statistics coming from this historic heatwave.
Perhaps the most memorable won’t actually be coming from the United States, but from Canada:
Temperatures as hot as 121°F in Canada unfortunately have some real world consequences. Now we are getting reports of hundreds of people succumbing from the heat, which is what we would expect from my designation of a CAT4 heatwave.
I do know this. As part of adaptation efforts residents of cities like Seattle and Vancouver, and those through much of southern Canada, will be buying air conditioners. Chicago has gone through this transition after a geat wave killed more than 700 people in that city in 1995.
Here is another great writeup from the Washington Post, which is the latest adding both hear and now sadly death statistics from a very toasty Tuesday:
Canada reports ‘significant’ increase in deaths thought to be linked to heat wave
British Columbia’s chief coroner had received 233 reports of deaths from Friday to Monday afternoon, nearly double the expected number
A resident walks through a misting station during a record-breaking heat wave Monday in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Trevor Hagan/Bloomberg News)
By Amanda Coletta June 30, 2021 at 6:48 a.m. PDT
TORONTO — Canadian officials said Tuesday that a blazing heat wave that has shattered one temperature record after the next in the Pacific Northwest is suspected to have been a contributing factor in dozens of deaths in British Columbia and is stressing the province’s emergency resources.
Lisa Lapointe, the province’s chief coroner, said in a statement that the Coroners Service normally receives about 130 reports of deaths over a four-day period. But from Friday, the heat wave’s onset, to Monday afternoon, it had received 233.
“The number will increase as data continues to be updated,” she said, adding that the deaths underscore the vulnerability of the elderly, young children and those with chronic illnesses in sweltering conditions.
Several major U.S. cities, including Portland, Ore., and Seattle, have broken all-time temperature records amid the “heat dome,” a zone of high pressure near the U.S.-Canada border. But residents of British Columbia — a province where many people, including the premier, don’t have air conditioning — have been hit hard.
“This is, as I say, another horrific year that we’re not accustomed to in a temperate rainforest,” British Columbia Premier John Horgan told reporters.
Bill Blair, the federal public safety minister, said in a tweet that the government “stands by ready to assist British Columbians if requested.”
Several school districts canceled classes this week. Some facilities canceled vaccination appointments. Residents sought refuge at the beach or in air-conditioned hotels.
The temperature in Lytton, a village 161 miles northeast of Vancouver, B.C., hit at least 120 degrees Tuesday afternoon, setting a national record for Canada for the third day in a row — higher than the highest temperature ever recorded in Las Vegas.
Officials said they would impose a campfire ban, warning that the sweltering temperatures and tinder-dry conditions meant there was an elevated risk for dangerous wildfires. Evacuation orders were issued for several homes in the B.C. Interior threatened by fires that were growing rapidly.
Environment Canada said on Wednesday that while the intense heat would start to be less intense in some parts of British Columbia, temperatures would continue to be unseasonably warm there for the rest of the week.
In the United States, officials said a dozen deaths in Washington and Oregon could be tied to the extreme heat, the Associated Press reported.
Scientists say human-caused climate change has made unprecedented heat waves such as this one more probable.
Across British Columbia, first responders said the heat wave was stretching their resources.
Adrian Dix, the province’s health minister, said on Tuesday that the province’s ambulance system had received a record 1,975 calls on Monday.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Burnaby said they had responded to more than 25 sudden-death calls in the 24-hour period since Monday. The causes of death were still being investigated, but police said many of the victims were elderly and the heat was suspected to be a contributing factor.
Police in Vancouver said they were redeploying dozens of officers as heat-related deaths strained front-line resources and delayed response times in the city. Since Friday, officers had responded to more than 65 sudden deaths, including 20 on Tuesday alone. On a typical day, it said it responds to three to four sudden deaths.
Sgt. Steve Addison said many of the calls are coming in the morning when family members and friends are checking in on their loved ones.
“The vast majority of these cases are related to the heat,” Addison said. “We’ve never seen anything like this, and it breaks our hearts. If you have an elderly or vulnerable family member, please give them a call or stop by to check on them.”
This report has been updated.
By Amanda Coletta Amanda Coletta is a reporter based in Toronto who covers Canada for The Washington Post. She previously worked in London, first at the Economist and then the Wall Street Journal. Twitter
Other notes on Heatwave Beta:
Here are some of Wednesday’s “ET’s”:
Here is more climate and weather news from Wednesday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:
(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.)
Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”