It’s getting really hot in the United States this summer. That much is clear. But it’s starting to get TOO hot, with various parts of America experiencing record breaking heat waves. But the important question is “why?”
The hardest hit zones have been the pacific north-west, with areas like Portland and Seattle hitting as high as 112 degrees F. Other lands nearby area hitting even higher temps, with Oregon getting up to 118 F. This had led to the locals scrambling for whatever ways to cool off they can find, from going to pools to renting out hotels with AC.
And to make it worse, the heat is bringing unclean air with it. The Puget Sound clean air agency posted online that the heat is making the air in the Cascade foothills “unhealthy”.
What is Causing this Heat Wave?
This, like many changes in temperature, is being caused by two pressure systems. According to the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center, one of them is coming from Alaska, while the other from Canada.
“The Pacific north-west got caught in a region where a series of feedbacks set up these very warm temperatures – no, hot temperatures – with very little cloud cover and very warm temperatures at night too.”
The explain that these above average temperatures are being instigated by the ongoing global heating issue. But what really makes it tough is the height of the wave. Being described as a “Heat Dome,” the warmth is extending high in the air, instead of being a flat plane of heat. This means that pressure and wind patterns that would otherwise carry cool marine air in are being blocked off, in a sense.
Staying cool in hot weather can be difficult. It’s harder than staying warm in the cold, really. We’ll have to write a full article about ways to stay cool. Until then, I’ll be hiding in my basement with a box fan.