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: Heatwave Dana Blisters the Eastern U.S.
Dear Diary. Today is Labor Day across the United States, which is the last holiday of the summer. Kiddies and adults as well have plenty of summer heat to play in pools, lakes, or beaches as opposed to many past Labor Day holidays in September when typical fall chill has taken over the Midwest and Northeast. But this Labor Day the heat is ridiculous, so much so that it is s health issue for a wide expanse of the country, setting records right and left.
For these reasons, I’m calling this latest heatwave “Dana” for another oil company going down our list:
The only problem here with my criteria in association with Heatwave Dana is that we have a lack of heat warnings issued by the National Weather Service, so we actually have a borderline CAT2/3 system as of this Labor Day:
Thankfully, most places will see a “dry heat” this time around as opposed to our prior named heatwaves when high humidity was a big problem:
The heat dome in association with Heatwave Dana already peaked on Sunday, so this heat episode won’t last too long for the northern states:
It’s disturbing to see a 594+ decameter ridge take up so much real estate during September, but these ar the hot climate crisis times we live in.
The southern part of this heat dome will consolidate across the south-central and southwestern states later this week where our latest heatwave will continue:
Here are more details from my friend Matthew Cappucci writing for the Washington Post:
Blistering late-season heat wave baking eastern U.S.
Record highs are forecast from the Upper Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic on Labor Day
September 4, 2023 at 10:32 a.m. EDT
High temperatures Monday as forecast by the National Weather Service. (Pivotal Weather)
An exceptional, expansive dome of unseasonable heat is baking the central and eastern United States, bringing early-September temperatures that would be high even by July standards and delaying the arrival of autumn air. On Labor Day, highs in the upper 90s to around 100 will spread from Texas to Minnesota to the Mid-Atlantic.
Unlike previous heat waves this summer, humidity will be moderate rather than extreme. But it will still pose the risk of heat-related illnesses for those who don’t take precautions.
“Anyone outdoors … should still remember to keep hydrated and take plenty of breaks in the shade/air conditioning,” urged the National Weather Service office serving the Washington region.
Scores of records will be toppled, including some monthly records. Already, September records of around 100 degrees were set in parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Mid-Atlantic on Sunday — including in Duluth, Minn., and at Washington Dulles International Airport.
Weather historian Maximiliano Herrera called it the harshest September heat wave on record east of the Rockies in a message to The Washington Post.
While the heat will ease in the Midwest on Tuesday and Wednesday, it is set to reach a crescendo east of the Appalachians before withdrawing toward the Southern Plains and South late in the week.
About 38 million Americans are expected to see temperatures at or above 100 degrees through the end of the week.
The heat so far
On Sunday, extreme September heat covered the Northern Plains and Northern Tier, bringing a high of 99 degrees to Duluth, Minn. That beat the previous daily record high by 8 degrees and also set a new monthly record high. Duluth also observed a record warm overnight temperature of 71 degrees, just a hair away from its average daytime high this time of year, which is 72.
Nearby Wausau, Wis., spiked to 99 degrees, tying a monthly September record. It was also the highest temperature Wausau has managed in the past 28 years. Averages in early September are closer to 74 degrees. Milwaukee tied a record at 95 degrees.
Across the Corn Belt and Northern Plains, Sioux Falls, S.D., hit a calendar-day high of 97 degrees Sunday, tying a record set in 1913. Sioux City, Iowa, reached 99 degrees, tying a record from 1947.
And on the East Coast, temperatures were higher than predicted, even in the face of already lofty forecasts. Dulles Airport, just west of the nation’s capital, hit 99, tying a monthly record. Baltimore got to 98, beating a calendar-day record of 97 set in 1898. And Washington’s Reagan National Airport made it to 97 degrees, falling just short of a record.
Temperatures are only expected to climb in the days ahead.
Records continue to crumble
The American GFS model simulates the heat dome over the eastern U.S. breaking down and then building over the Southern Plains and Southwest. (WeatherBell)
On Tuesday, highs will flirt with calendar-day records in Wisconsin and Minnesota, as well as Iowa. Madison, Wis., for example, is predicted to tie a record at 94 degrees. Grand Rapids, Mich., should tie a record too at 92 degrees. Chicago hit 94 on Sunday and should exceed 90 on Monday and Tuesday — the city’s first September heat wave since 2017.
But the real apex of the heat is slated to bake the East Coast — especially around Washington. The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 99 degrees on Tuesday, which should eclipse the previous record of 97, set in 1881. Dulles Airport should hit 99 as well, beating its record by 3 degrees.
To the southwest in Virginia, Charlottesville could nick 100 degrees, surpassing the record of 94. Bookkeeping there dates back to 1893. In Raleigh, N.C., a record-tying high of 97 degrees is anticipated.
The hot, dry weather will expand and intensify a developing drought — which has reached “severe” levels in parts of the interior Mid-Atlantic.
Highs in Philadelphia are forecast to hit 96 on Tuesday, and New York City could break into the lower 90s. Both cities should be within a degree or so of records.
By Wednesday, an approaching cold front brings a slight moderation to temperatures in the Midwest and Ohio Valley, pushing the core of the heat closer to the coast. Both of D.C.’s airports, as well as Baltimore’s, are projected to hit 99 degrees, which would break records of 98 degrees at all three locations. If forecasts are realized, D.C. might log its hottest five-day September stretch on record.
Philadelphia could lurch to 97. Similar readings are anticipate Thursday, when New York’s La Guardia Airport may climb to 91 degrees. That, too, would be a record.
Heat returns to the Southern Plains late week
The Climate Prediction Center’s forecast for temperature departures from average in the six-to-10-day window. (Pivotal Weather)
A sprawling ridge of high pressure colloquially dubbed a “heat dome” is responsible for the high temperatures. It brings hot, sinking air, and acts as a force field to shunt cloud cover and rainy weather systems to the north. The absence of anything to meaningfully blot out the sunshine, as well as hot, dry air, allows temperatures to spike.
The heat dome will shift southwestward, allowing cooler air and some storminess to traverse the Great Lakes, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic on Thursday and Friday. During that time frame, the dome will set its sights on Texas, bringing highs across the Lone Star State between 100 and 105 degrees. Virtually every major city will nab a record — Dallas at 105 on Friday, Waco at 104, Austin at 105, Houston and San Antonio at 102 degrees, and Wichita Falls at 107 degrees.
Texas has been no stranger to unrelenting and unforgiving heat. In fact, the Gulf Coast and South have had a staggeringly hot summer. New Orleans saw its warmest June through and August on record, and San Antonio and Brownsville, Tex., have already seen a record number of 100-degree days. El Paso will probably reach its record of 62 days at or above 100 degrees in a calendar year, too.
There may be a brief lull in the heat toward the middle of next week for the Central and Southern Plains, but that would just mean the heat dome would be pushed toward the Desert Southwest, which has already faced a red-hot record summer.
The frequency, intensity and duration of heat dome events have exhibited a strong link to the effects of human-caused climate change.
Jason Samenow contributed to this report.
By Matthew Cappucci Matthew Cappucci is a meteorologist for Capital Weather Gang. He earned a B.A. in atmospheric sciences from Harvard University in 2019, and has contributed to The Washington Post since he was 18. He is an avid storm chaser and adventurer, and covers all types of weather, climate science, and astronomy. Twitter
Here are some other “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 brand-new August 2023 climatology:
Here is more climate and weather news from Monday:
(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.)