Summer Heat Waves The New Normal

July 1, 2024

(A somewhat-sweltering respite from the asshole SCOTUS bullshit from earlier today, which in turn, caused regurgitating opinions/viewpoints to fully-fester throughout the InterWebs this afternoon, all seemingly saddled with the whine-cry of ‘we be fucked…‘)

Hot, heavy air this late-afternoon Monday here in California’s Central Valley — a summer crush of excessive heat even worse than shitty-normal and lasting a full week.
And we’re talking 110-plus temperatures here for multiple days.

In this, our local NWS warns starting tomorrow and continuing until next Tuesday: ‘Dangerously hot conditions with a 50 to 90% Probability of high temperatures 107F or hotter. There is a 50% Probability of minimum temperatures of 73F or warmer. HeatRisk will be Major or Level 3 of 4 initially, then become Extreme, Level 4 of 4 on the 4th of July into the weekend.

Our outlook:

We’re not alone:

And the heat is mostly unending due to climate change — from Scientific American a couple of weeks ago:

Today’s summers on climate change steroids are not just a matter of shirts increasingly clinging to sweat-drenched backs or individuals needing to crank up the air-conditioning more often. They pose a major and deadly public health threat that people, cities and countries are only beginning to grapple with. Record-shattering heat waves last summer—the hottest in the past 2,000 years—underscore the growing danger. Some 2,300 people in the U.S. died from excessive heat during that season, the highest number in 45 years of recorded data, according to a recent Associated Press analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And some experts say that record only counts a fraction of the true number of heat-related deaths.

This summer is very likely to bring more of the same. Though it is impossible to say where and when any specific extreme heat waves might take shape more than a few days ahead of time, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service’s forecast shows a greater than 50 percent chance of above-normal temperatures across nearly all of the Northern Hemisphere. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also predicts above-normal temperatures for most of the U.S., especially the Southwest and Northeast. The high odds of a hot summer in those areas are primarily based on the long-term global warming trend, notably in the Southwest, says Dan Collins, a meteorologist at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. In “this season and that region, the trends are particularly strong,” he says. And these predicted temperatures are measured against a baseline of “normal” readings from 1991–2020—when global warming’s impact was already becoming measurable—meaning this summer is even hotter when compared with those that occurred earlier in the 20th century.

So far these forecasts are proving accurate. A major heat wave developed over the western U.S. early in June, sending temperatures soaring to levels more typical of those later in the season. That same dome of heat had been roasting Mexico since the beginning of May, breaking records and causing howler monkeys and birds to drop from trees after dying of heat stroke and dehydration. A heat dome is bringing potentially record-breaking hot temperatures to the eastern half of the U.S., especially New England, in mid-June. Outside of North America, broad areas of Asia—from Gaza to Bangladesh to the Philippines—sweltered in climate-change-enhanced heat during April and into May. These events show how summer heat is bleeding into spring, as well as into autumn.

Kristie Ebi, an epidemiologist who specializes in heat-related health risks, to a class of college students during a lecture last year: ‘“When you get to be as old as I am, you’re going to look back and think about how nice the summers used to be.”


Memories, too, of summers past despite “you can never look back” and remember:

Sweat sucks, or not, yet once again here we are…

(Illustration out front: Salvador Dalí’s “The Burning Giraffe” [1937], oil on panel, and found here.)

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