Extreme Temperature Diary- Sunday February 5th, 2023/Main Topic: Another Harsh Summer Heatwave for Chile and Argentina

The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track global 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: Another Harsh Summer Heatwave for Chile and Argentina

Dear Diary. Another ramped up heatwave brought about by climate change has affected a portion of the Earth. Every year since I started this blog in 2017 southern South America has experienced extreme heat, and this year is no exception.

This heat episode appears to have peaked on Thursday and Friday, but awful fires are a consequence of some prolonged heat that has lasted for several weeks:

An extremely warm heat dome that built over the area is unmistakable on meteorological models:

As of today (Sunday) the heatwave is still affecting southern South America:

Latest (2023/02/03) 1-day area-weighted 2m temperature anomalies calculated from the NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFS) and CFS Reanalysis (CFSR). The anomaly values fluctuate day-to-day and week-to-week depending on prevailing weather patterns. For context, daily temperatures for the domains below are available via interactive charts for the entire CFS/CFSR 1979–present record. Anomalies are based on 1979–2000 climatology for the specific day of the year.

WorldNorthern HemisphereArctic
+ 0.47 °C+ 0.79 °C+ 2.85 °C
TropicsSouthern HemisphereAntarctic
+ 0.29 °C+ 0.14 °C+ 0.01 °

Thankfully, a cold from will be putting an end to harsh heat in most locations later this week, breaking down the heat dome, looking at forecast 500 millibar anomalies:

Maximiliano Herrera has done a great job compiling records from this heatwave the last few days:

Here are more details on the heatwave from Reuters:

At least 23 dead as dozens of wildfires torch forests in Chile | Reuters

At least 23 dead as dozens of wildfires torch forests in Chile

By Fabian Cambero and Natalia A. Ramos Miranda

SANTIAGO, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Dozens of wildfires blazing though Chile caused the government to extend an emergency order to another region on Saturday, as a scorching summer heat wave complicates efforts to control fires that have claimed at least 23 lives so far.

More than 1,100 people have sought refuge in shelters while at least 979 people have been reported injured by the raging fires, according to an official briefing later on Saturday.

The latest emergency order covers the southern region of Araucania, next to the previously declared Biobio and Nuble regions, located near the middle of the South American country’s long Pacific coastline.

“Weather conditions have made it very difficult to put out (the fires) that are spreading and the emergency is getting worse,” Interior Minister Carolina Toha told reporters at a news conference in the capital Santiago.

Latest Updates

“We need to reverse that curve,” she added, noting that on Friday 76 more fires had ignited.

Another 16 fires sparked to life on Saturday, according to officials, as local temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere summer exceeded 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 Celsius).

The sparsely populated three regions covered by the emergency orders are home to many farms, including where grapes, apples and berries are grown for export, plus extensive tracts of forest land.

Officials told reporters on Saturday that the governments of Spain, the United States, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil and Venezuela have offered help, including planes and firefighters.

On Friday, an emergency-support helicopter in La Araucania crashed, killing its pilot and a mechanic, according to officials.

Authorities reported that 11 of the victims, or nearly half of the casualties reported so far, died in the town of Santa Juana in Biobio, located some 310 miles (500 km) south of Santiago.

A wildfire burns areas in Santa Juana, near Concepcion, Chile, February 4, 2023. REUTERS/Ailen Diaz

A wildfire burns areas in Santa Juana, near Concepcion, Chile, February 4, 2023. REUTERS/Ailen Diaz

Local residents work to extinguish a wildfire in Santa Juana, near Concepcion, Chile, February 4, 2023. REUTERS/Ailen Diaz

A helicopter assists during a wildfire in Santa Juana, near Concepcion, Chile, February 3, 2023. REUTERS/Juan Gonzalez .

A resident tries to put out the fire during a wildfire in Santa Juana, near Concepcion, Chile, February 3, 2023. REUTERS/Juan Gonzalez

Since late last week, helicopters have dropped fire retardant over raging fires as billowing clouds of smoke obstruct roadways. Firefighters and local residents alike are struggling to contain the flames against the backdrop of a hazy orange-tinted sky.

The orders allow for the deployment of soldiers and additional resources to deal with the natural disaster.

Some 40,000 hectares (99,000 acres) have been burnt by the fires, according to official data released late on Friday, an area larger than the U.S. city of Philadelphia.

National forestry agency CONAF reported on Saturday that 80 of 231 total wildfires are being actively battled, while 151 of them are under control.

Officials said that over 90% of the wildfires have been smothered before they spread beyond 12 acres (5 hectares).

But for those unlucky enough to get caught up in one of the uncontrolled wildfires, immediate evacuation was the only option.

“I left with what I had on,” said Carolina Torres, who fled from an approaching fire near the city of Puren, in the region of Araucania.

“I think everyone here did the same thing because the winds shifted and you just had to grab everything right away.”

On Friday, President Gabriel Boric cut short his summer vacation and traveled to Nuble and Biobio, pledging to make sure the affected areas receive all necessary support.

Boric also pointed to “signs” that some fires may have been started intentionally, but did not provide any additional details.

Reporting by Fabian Cambero and Natalia A. Ramos Miranda; Additional reporting by Diego Ore; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Sandra Maler

Here are some “ET’s” recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks, as well as any extreme precipitation reports:

Here is some more new January 2023 climatology:

Here is more climate and weather news from Sunday:

(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.)

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”

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