The Heat Goes On (And It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over)
The extreme heat that has plagued the U.S. for much of the summer continues to sear the nation. With a large area of High Pressure setting up across the West for at least a week, if not longer, a prolonged heat event is taking shape from Washington to the desert Southwest.
If forecasts hold, it would be the first prolonged heat event of the summer for the Pacific Northwest and much of California, as until now the record heat that has roasted the High Plains has spared those areas. The National Weather Service declared heat advisories on Tuesday, with expected temperatures in the triple digits for parts of interior Washington and Oregon, much of drought ridden and fire-ravaged Oklahoma, and across the desert Southwest. Temperatures in parts of Arizona, Nevada and California could soar to 115°F, or higher. “The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible,” the Weather Service said.
As Climate Central reported earlier Tuesday, the double-whammy of a warm winter and spring, plus a series of major heat waves in March, June, and July has already set or tied more high-temperature records than in all of 2011 — and 2011 had the second-warmest summer on record for the lower 48 states. While parts of the West have largely been spared from heat waves this summer, accordingt to the Northeast Regional Climate Center, the Northeast had its warmest January through July period on record, and more data to be released on Wednesday may show the lower 48 states were record warm for the same period, as was the case for January through June.
Later this week, the heat is forecast to be drawing a bead on northern and central California, with temperatures in the Central Valley reaching 105° to 110°. Oklahoma may get some relief, dropping out of triple digits over the weekend, but could go back above 100° next week. In Las Vegas, meanwhile, daytime temperatures could finally get back down as low as 100°F by the end of next week.