Monday, July 10, 2017

The West Is on Fire as Heat Records Fall

Friday's Highs (Credit: National Weather Service) Click to Enlarge.
From Phoenix to Boise, high temperature records fell like dominoes over the weekend as an impressive heat wave engulfed the western U.S., helping to fuel several wildfires.

While heat waves are a regular part of summer weather, the steady warming of the planet means those heat waves are getting ever hotter, making record heat more and more likely.

The heat came courtesy of a ridge of high pressure that moved in over the West, with the peak temperatures, including several records, occurring on Friday and Saturday:
  • Las Vegas hit 116°F on Friday, besting the record set in 1989 of 114°F.  The city had a record-long streak of 23 days with highs above 105°F.

  • On Saturday, Reno, Nev., bested its old record of 99°F with a temperature of 104°F.

  • Los Angeles broke a record that had stood for 131 years, with the temperature downtown hitting 98°F (the old record was 95°F).

  • Temperatures in Phoenix soared to 118°F on Friday, besting the old record of 115°F set in 1905, and marking the third day of 2017 where temperatures were at or above that level, the second most on record.

  • In Salt Lake City, the temperature reached a record 104°F on Saturday.  The city had three record highs in just four days last week.

  • The Boise airport also saw 104°F on Saturday, besting the record of 103°F set in 1968.
Daytime highs weren’t the only concern, as overnight lows stayed downright hot in some places, particularly in the Phoenix area.  The temperature from Friday night to Saturday morning only reached as low as 95°F in Scottsdale, a record.  (It was still 106°F at 1 a.m. that night.)

Read more at The West Is on Fire as Heat Records Fall

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