‘Heat Dome’ Ahead — Summer’s Here Already!

June 3, 2024

Heavy-weighed warmth despite a semi-overcast sky this late-afternoon Monday here in California’s Central Valley with clear-yellow sunshine occasionally brightening the landscape, though, the tone is more muted than actually considered anywhere near hot. A gentle, soft breeze that’s been swirling around all day long has kept the edge off those temperatures.
An edge reportedly to be gone by Wednesday (I guess that ‘gentle, soft breeze‘ will go far away, too) as the dreaded depth of boiler summer will arrive gloriously with a bang — triple digits (104/105/102, maybe hotter) and the melting heat that accompanies such numbers.
Right now, as I work my laptop for this post, it’s just reportedly 84 degrees outside, nice, not bad, but will be ancient history by midweek.
We’re getting a hyper punch:

Details via The Washington Post this afternoon:

The heat dome that produced a prolonged and brutal bout of heat in Mexico during May is expanding northward into the western United States. It is poised to bring record high temperatures from Arizona to the Pacific Northwest this week — with some of the most intense heat in California’s interior.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are predicted to be the hottest days — with highs at least 10 to 20 degrees above normal — before the heat eases somewhat by the weekend.

Temperatures of 100 to 110 are anticipated in much of the interior West, with some desert locations topping 110 or even 120 degrees in the most extreme cases. Dozens of record highs are predicted.

Of course, that’s just for this week, and aimed especially at my little area of life. And, of course, climate change is making this shit even worse, creating a forecast for a real-hot summer.
And predictions:

A further immediate-future glance from Grist this morning:

Since the World Meteorological Organization declared the start of the current El Niño on July 4, 2023, it’s been almost a year straight of record-breaking temperatures. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, there’s a 61 percent chance that this year could be even hotter than the last, spelling danger for areas prone to deadly heat waves during the summer months. An estimated 2,300 people in the U.S. died due to heat-related illnesses in 2023, and researchers say the real number is probably higher.
All this heat has also settled into the oceans, creating more than a year of super-hot surface temperatures and bleaching more than half of the planet’s coral reefs. It also provides potential fuel for hurricanes, which form as energy is sucked up vertically into the atmosphere. Normally, trade winds scatter heat and humidity across the water’s surface and prevent these forces from building up in one place. But during La Niña, cooler temperatures in the Pacific Ocean weaken high-altitude winds in the Atlantic that would normally break up storms, allowing hurricanes to more readily form.

“When that pattern in the Pacific sets up, it changes wind patterns around the world,” said Matthew Rosencrans, a lead forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “When it’s strong, it can be the dominant signal on the entire planet.”

This year’s forecast is especially dangerous, as a likely swift midsummer transition to La Niña could combine with all that simmering ocean water. NOAA forecasters expect these conditions to brew at least 17 storms big enough to get a name, roughly half of which could be hurricanes. Even a hurricane with relatively low wind speeds can dump enough water to cause catastrophic flooding hundreds of miles inland.

“It’s important to think of climate change as making things worse,” said Andrew Dessler, climate scientist at Texas A&M University. Although human-caused warming won’t directly increase the frequency of hurricanes, he said, it can make them more destructive. “It’s a question of how much worse it’s going to get,” he said.

Time will cook the times.

My standard close for such things — CGI only right now:

Heat dome, or not, yet once again here we are…

(Illustration out front: Salvador Dali’s ‘Hell Canto 2: Giants,’ found here.)

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