Last week, California’s Death Valley had recorded a maximum high temperature of 124 degrees. This had made it the US’s hottest spot, and perhaps even the world’s. Moreover, a day later weather forecast predicted an even higher maximum temperature of 128 degrees.
Several dozen records were shattered last week as temperatures ranged between 10 and 30 degrees over the average. Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming all had their records demolished. Western cities such as Billings in Montana and Chula Vista in California recorded temperatures that were at least 10 degrees higher than their previous records.
Cheyenne in Wyoming and Salt Lake City recorded 94 and 107 degrees respectively. The thermometer soared higher than 105 in some areas in Utah. Last Wednesday, the extreme widespread heat continued engulfing almost 40 million residents. They were under constant head warnings, advisories, and watches.
The High Temperatures Will Get Worse
As the heatwave is nearing its forecast end, over 200 records of high temperatures have fallen. This includes record highs during the afternoon as well lows during the nights when the temperature does not cool. It has been estimated that about 110 million people have experienced high temperatures of over 90 degrees. 20 million have experienced over 100 degrees.
There are also added concerns because of the high heat, gusty winds, and low humidity. These are ideal conditions for wildfires. Energy and water supplies are dwindling as well as key rivers, reservoirs, and lakes have seen massive evaporation. As a result, operators of power grids have had to ask residents to reduce power consumption.
Meteorologists have repeatedly insisted that residents in areas that are under heat alerts must stay indoors. If not they should repeatedly seek shade, keep themselves hydrated, and always keep an eye on their neighbors. The extremely high temperatures can be dangerous and they might find themselves in the need of help.
Extreme heat is among the strongest direct effects of the climbing temperatures that are happening because of climate change. Heatwaves have become longer and more intense. Moreover, wildfires in the West have claimed more acres.