Heat wave shattered records this past week in US, elsewhere
If you've been hot lately, you're not alone. Record high temperatures have been logged over the past week in the U.S. and around the world.
Here's a quick look at the heat.
WHAT'S GOING ON?
For the week through Tuesday, 227 U.S. records were broken for highest temperature for particular days, and another 157 were tied, federal statistics show.
There was also a lack of cooling overnight, with 451 records broken for warmest minimum temperatures for particular days, and another 421 tied. In Burlington, Vermont, for example, the temperature got down only to 80 degrees (27 degrees Celsius) on July 2, its highest low temperature ever.
Some other countries have seen all-time highs, such as 105 degrees (41 C) in Tblisi, the capital of the nation of Georgia, on Wednesday, and 109 degrees (43 C) in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, on Sunday. On Monday, Iran experienced its hottest July temperature ever, 127 degrees (53 C).
IS THIS DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE?
"I can't say that right now" without some further research, says Matthew Rosencrans of the National Weather Service. Still, because of global warming, "heat waves like this are likely to be more frequent going forward than they have been in the past."
Jeff Masters, director of meteorology for the private forecasting service Weather Underground, said the past week's heat wave "is the kind of thing you expect to see on a warming planet ... it's easier to set a heat record." He notes that 2016 was the warmest year on record globally, and that year saw the most all-time heat records broken around the world.
IS ANY RELIEF IN SIGHT?
In the U.S., Masters said, a cold front should bring relief from the heat and humidity in the Midwest and Northeast on Friday through Sunday. Southern California will get severe heat during that time, he said, with a high of 102 degrees (39 C) forecast for Friday in Los Angeles. That city has experienced only five July days in recorded history that were warmer, he said.
The coming week will be pretty hot over most of the U.S., especially in the West, forecasters say. For the last two weeks of July, temperatures over the eastern half of the country are likely to be closer to average than they were this past week, while probably remaining above average in the western part of the country and the southern Plains.
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