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: End of Week Update on Worldwide Heatwaves
Dear Diary. Not surprisingly, but disturbingly, brutal heatwaves have been popping up across the Northern Hemisphere this month, well before the summer solstice. I’ve named the current heatwave across the United States Apothis, which only briefly got up to my historic CAT4 level earlier this week, mainly because about 40 all-time record high mins set across southern portions of the U.S. and southern parts of the Midwest. Far worse has occurred around the globe this month accompanied by devastating wildfires.
The Washington Post has penned two good recent summaries on this extreme heat, which I am sharing with you today:
Summer swelter: Persistent heat wave breaks records, spirits
FILE – A man walks in the water as the sun rises above the Miribel lake, outside Lyon, central France, Saturday, June 18, 2022. A heat wave that’s already lasted more than a week keeps on baking the US, Asia, Europe and even the Arctic. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)
By Seth Borenstein | AP
June 24 at 9:38 AM
From the normally chilly Russian Arctic to the traditionally sweltering American South, big swaths of the Northern Hemisphere continued to sizzle with extreme heat as the start of summer more resembled the dog days of August with parts of China and Japan setting all-time heat records Friday.
In the United States a heat dome of triple digit temperatures in many places combined with high humidity oscillated from west to east. On Thursday, at least 15 states hit 100 degrees (37.8 degrees Celsius) and at least 21 high temperature marks were set or broken, according to the National Weather Service, which held 30 million Americans under some kind of heat advisory.
The extreme discomfort of Thursday came after 12 states broke the 100-degree mark on Wednesday and 21 records were tied or broken. Since June 15, at least 113 automated weather stations have tied or broken hot-temperature records. Scientists say this early baking has all the hallmarks of climate change.
In China’s northern Henan province Friday, Xuchang hit 107.8 degrees (42.1 degrees Celsius) and Dengfeng hit 106.9 degrees (41.6 degrees Celsius) for their hottest days on record, according to global extreme weather tracker Maximiliano Herrera. And in Japan Friday, Tokamachi and Tsunan set all-time heat records while several cities broke monthly marks, he said
“It’s easy to look at these figures and forget the immense misery they represent. People who can’t afford air conditioning and people who work outdoors have only one option, to suffer,” said Texas A&M climate scientist Andrew Dessler, who was in College Station, where the temperature tied a record at 102 degrees (38.9 degrees Celsius) Thursday. “Those of us with air conditioning may not physically suffer, but we are prisoners of the indoors.”
After three deaths, Chicago has changed its cooling rules.
In Macon, Georgia, the temperature swept from 64 degrees (17.8 degrees Celsius) to 105 (40.6 degrees Celsius) in just nine hours Wednesday. Then on Thursday the temperature peaked at 104 (40 degrees Celsius), a record for the day. Even Minneapolis hit 100 on Monday.
Probably only the Pacific Northwest and Northeast have been spared the heat wave, said National Weather Service meteorologist Marc Chenard at the Weather Prediction Center. On Thursday, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, South Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, South Dakota, Colorado, Nevada and California all hit at least 100. Houston, Dallas, Austin, New Orleans and Orlando all tied high record marks on Thursday.
“It’s persistent,” Chenard said. “It’s been over a week and it’s going to continue in some aspects.”
It’s not just the U.S.
The Russian city of Norilsk, above the Arctic circle, hit 89.6 degrees (32 degrees Celsius) Thursday for its hottest June day on record and tied for its hottest day in any month on record, according to Herrera. Saragt in Turkmenistan rose to 114.6 degrees (45.9 degrees Celsius) but Herrera said in the next days it can get even worse.
Herrera said tracking heat records is so overwhelming that he doesn’t have time to eat or sleep.
Northern Illinois University meteorology professor Victor Gensini said what’s happening with this early heat wave is “very consistent with what we’d expect in a continually warming world.”
“These temperatures are occurring with only 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) of global warming and we are on track for 4 degrees Fahrenheit (2.2 degrees Celsius) more warming over this century,” Dessler said. “I literally cannot imagine how bad that will be.”
In Raleigh, North Carolina, it hit 100 on Wednesday and usually the city only gets one 100-degree day a year, but it comes much later than this, said state climatologist Kathie Dello.
“In the southeastern U.S. many lack access to sufficient or stable cooling or cannot afford to use their home cooling systems. Heat morbidity and mortality is among our greatest public health risks in a changing climate.”
There may be some cooling by the weekend or Monday in some places, including the north central part of the country, Chenard said. But above normal temperatures are forecast for “at least into the first part of July” and he added it’s likely the entire summer will be hotter than normal.
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Associated Press climate and environmental coverage receives support from several private foundations. See more about AP’s climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
Spain devastated by wildfires amid record-breaking heat wave
Firefighters battle a wildfire Saturday in Pumarejo de Tera, Zamora, northern Spain. (Cesar Manso/AFP/Getty Images)
London-based breaking-news reporter
Wildfires in Spain have destroyed thousands of acres of land and forced hundreds of residents to flee their homes amid a punishing heat wave across Europe.
Some of the fires continue to burn, with firefighters working to extinguish flames that have ravaged more than 74,000 acres. On Friday, the World Meteorological Organization warned that all of Spain faced “extreme fire risk” because of the heat and drought.
The early heat wave broke some records in Spain, with Valencia Airport setting a record June high on Friday, logging a temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 Celsius) and surpassing records set in 2017. In Madrid, temperatures rose to around 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 Celsius) in what the State Meteorological Agency said was the earliest major heat wave in more than four decades.
“What we’re witnessing today is unfortunately a foretaste of the future,” Clare Nullis, a spokeswoman for the World Meteorological Organization, told the Independent over the weekend as she warned that early heat waves were being propelled by climate change.
Flames rage in a field in Arraiza, northern Spain, on Saturday. (Sergio Martin/AP)
Johan Rockström, director of the German government-funded Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, on Twitter called the scenes in Europe “the new normal” and warned that extreme weather would only worsen if global emissions are not cut.
Sierra de la Culebra, a mountain range in Castile and León, in northwest Spain, was one of the areas most devastated, with one workers’ association calling the forest fire “a real monster” as it formed a towering orange wall along what was once a lush green landscape.
Firefighters work Sunday in the Sierra de la Culebra mountain range. (Isabel Infantes/Reuters)
Some respite came on Sunday as temperatures dropped. On Monday, emergency aircraft dropped water onto rural land in the west of the country to stop flames from reigniting, while forest fires continued to burn in areas including Navarre and Catalonia, the Reuters news agency reported.
A helicopter flies over a forest fire in Belascoáin, Navarre, on Sunday. (Vincent West/Reuters)
A firefighter tackles a blaze near Artazu, Navarre, on Sunday. (Vincent West/Reuters)
Hundreds of firefighters have been working across several regions including Zamora, in the northwest, and Valencia, in the southeast, to extinguish flames.
Officials in Catalonia, in the northeast, said over the weekend that emergency services were struggling to contain more than 30 fires, the Guardian reported.
A firefighter at work Sunday in San Martín de Unx, Navarre. (Villar Lopez/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
The heat wave also struck France, and a warning was issued in Britain by the Health Security Agency as the country recorded its hottest day of the year. Temperatures in London passed 89 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) because of what experts said was a blast of hot air from North Africa.
In Germany, more than a dozen towns close to Berlin were evacuated as a precaution against an approaching wildfire over the weekend, Deutsche Welle reported.
“The hottest time of year is usually between mid-July and mid-August,” meteorologist Tim Staeger told the outlet. “If we’re already dealing with these temperatures now, there will likely be more days like this one, or even hotter ones, later this year.”
Sammy Westfall contributed to this report.
Another dire report:
Here are some “ET’s” reported from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks:
Here is more climate and weather news from Friday:
(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.)
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”