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: List of Oil Companies for U.S. Heatwave Names During 2023
Dear Diary. We already have a swath of the United States that is being affected by record heat. Though not a heatwave using my criteria, residents of the Midwest and Northeast have been experiencing summerlike temperatures very early in April:
Given that it is this hot already, it’s time to repost my heatwave criteria for 2022 and update it for 2023. This year, as promised, we are going to poke a little fun at oil companies by using their names to name heatwaves. Petroleum companies are a big reason why heatwaves have been getting worse year after year for the past forty years, at least, due to carbon pollution from the burning of their products. Here is the list that I have come up with for this year.
- B.P. (British Petroleum)
- Conoco (Phillips)
Across the United States, if we have the most extreme situation, Heatwave Amoco could last all season with the country not catching any break. In that case and all other cases, we will use unused names for 2024.
Let’s initially try to define heat wave severity and intensity on a day-to-day basis. My parameters introduced today are fairly rough around the edges and somewhat subjective, but if there is enough discussion and consensus within the meteorological community perhaps in time harder definitions based on sounder science can come to fruition.
Obviously, I’m naming heatwaves to highlight this worsening climate problem and perhaps save lives by getting the public to focus on this weather threat. This year I’m naming major heatwaves after oil companies to shame them in the process and to identify culprits that are exacerbating these deadly systems.
Mirroring the Saffir-Simpson scale, let’s define a weak or low-level category one heat wave as a fairly minor nuisance that can be dealt with using proper precautions. A CAT5 would be one that is truly deadly, in which you would not want to leave a location with air conditioning to go outside under any circumstances for no more than a few minutes. What I will do here is roughly define this 1-5 scale and give an example, also using 500 millibar charts.
1) CAT 1: Low level heat wave. Occurs when temperatures and humidity get hot enough to threaten the health of susceptible people over an area at least as large as a medium size state. Heat advisories from the National Weather Service will be in place with perhaps a small area of heat warnings. Temperatures don’t necessarily have to get as hot as record levels, but humidity levels must be sufficient to produce a heat index above 95°F.
The typical early July weather we saw on 7/2/2020 across the south-central U.S. was spot on for a CAT 1 heat wave. Here are current heat advisories posted for that heat episode:
During this summer (or as long as heat advisories are posted for a portion of the United States) when relevant I will post the above NWS graphic describing the severity of our ongoing heat wave on a scale of 1-5 before I get into the main topic of the day.
At 500 millibars here is what we saw from 7/2/2020, which would be typical for my CAT 1 heat wave definition:
2) CAT 2: Medium level heat wave in which areas have been subjected to temperatures and humidity sufficient to produce NWS heat advisories and warnings for at least three consecutive days. Temperatures may get close to record levels for a couple of days.
Here is a heat dome that would be typical for a CAT2:
3) CAT 3: A major level heatwave severe enough such that a few fatalities are reported. A city in a CAT 3 heat wave would be under a heat emergency for a few days. Many heat records would be either tied or broken.
A CAT3 or higher heatwave would be considered to be a major heatwave and would get a fossil fuel corporation name.
Indeed, a CAT 2 heat wave will grow into a CAT 3 system if we see a 500 millibar ridge enveloping much of the Plains or elsewhere like so:
4) CAT 4: High level heat wave severe enough to produce over 500 deaths to susceptible people. This type of heatwave does not necessarily need to produce many all-time of monthly records. The longevity of a CAT4 heatwave would be enough to be a big killer. The city of Chicago had one of these back in 1995. Read about that here:
Such a heatwave would require a stable ridge at 500 millibars, with heights more than likely greater than 594 decameters, that would last for days and not move much:
5) CAT 5. Catastrophic heat wave. Many all-time temperature records would be shattered with thousands of deaths reported. Remember the European heat wave of 2003 in which there were well in excess of 10,000 fatalities? This event would certainly fit my CAT 5 category.
|Difference in average temperature (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2012) from 2003, covering the date range of 20 July – 20 August|
|Date||July 2003 – August 2003|
|Deaths||50,000 – 70,000|
A heatwave will end once we can no longer see it’s associated contoured 500 millibar heat dome on charts.
I welcome any constructive critiques for this heat wave scale. Am looking forward to any reader comments.
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 March 2023 climatology:
Here is more climate and weather news from Thursday.
(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”