Tag Archives: Western

Smoke From Western Wildfires to Spread as Far as New York

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Wildfires spreading across the western United States destroyed dozens of homes | Climate News

Firefighters have been fighting piracy fires in Oregon, north of the California border, for nearly a week.

In southeastern Oregon, firefighters have been scrambling to control a raging hell that spread for miles in a single day under windy conditions, one of them Countless wildfires Resources are in short supply west America’s.

After the dangerous “fire cloud” began to collapse, the crew had to flee the line of fire late Thursday, threatening them with a strong downdraft and flying embers. A preliminary review on Friday revealed that the piracy fire destroyed 67 houses and 117 outbuildings in one county overnight. The authorities are still calculating losses in the second county, where the flames are as high as six kilometers (four miles) per day.

The fire has forced 2,000 people Evacuated and threatened Fire spokesperson Holly Krake said that in the rural area north of the California border, there are 5,000 buildings, including houses and smaller buildings. She said that active flames are surging along the 322 kilometers (200 miles) of the fire site, and it is expected that by nightfall, the fire will merge with a smaller but equally explosive fire.

Bootleg Fire now has an area of ??194 square kilometers (75 square miles), which is larger than New York City, and most of it is not under control.

On July 14, 2021, a hot spot erupted on the northeast side of the Bootleg fire near the Sprague River in Oregon [Nathan Howard/AP Photo]

“We are likely to continue to see fires grow over miles and miles of active lines of fire,” Clark said. “We continue to add thousands of acres of land every day, and every day has the potential, looking forward to the weekend, continue those three to four miles of running.”

The hellfire hampered firefighters for a week with unstable winds and extremely dangerous fire behavior, including ominous fire clouds formed by overheated air rising to a height of 10 kilometers (6 miles) above the flame.

“We expect these exact same conditions to continue and worsen until the weekend,” Clark said of the clouds caused by the fire.

Earlier, the fire had doubled almost every day, and strong winds on Thursday quickly pushed the fire again. Expect similar wind speeds of up to 48 kilometers per hour (30 mph) on Friday.

It is burning an area north of the California border, which has been Extreme drought, Like most of the western United States.

Extremely dry conditions and heat waves related to climate change have swept the area, making wildfires more difficult to extinguish. In the past 30 years, climate change has made the west warmer and drier, and will continue to make the weather more extreme, and wildfires more frequent and destructive.

The fire is most active on its northeast side, being blown by the south wind to the rural communities of Xiahu and Chunhu. Paisley, east of the fire, was also in danger. All towns are in Lake County, which is a remote lake and wildlife sanctuary with a total population of about 8,000 people.

In this photo provided by Bootleg Fire Incident Command, the Bootleg fire burned at night near Highway 34 in Southern Oregon on Thursday, July 15, 2021 [Jason Pettigrew/Bootleg Fire Incident Command via AP]

The Bootleg fire is one of at least a dozen fires in Washington, Oregon, and California, as a wildfire siege engulfed the drought-stricken west. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, there are 70 active fires and multiple fires in the United States, which have burned nearly 4,297 square kilometers (1,659 square miles).

In the Pacific Northwest, firefighters said they faced a situation that was more typical in late summer or fall than in early July.

Approximately 200 firefighters are fighting the 44 square kilometer (17 square miles) Red Apple fire near Wenatchee, Washington, famous for its apples, but it is almost beyond control. Officials said the flame threatened the apple orchard and a substation, but no buildings were lost.

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Hundreds still missing after floods devastate western Germany

German emergency services stepped up their search for hundreds of people who are still missing after the worst flooding in the country’s postwar history caused 93 deaths and left a trail of devastation in its wake.

Rivers across parts of western Germany burst their banks after days of heavy rain turned them into raging torrents that swept away houses, destroyed bridges and roads and left several town centres in ruins.

Large parts of the rail network in the west were still severely disrupted on Friday, with several routes blocked. International train services from Germany to Belgium were also affected. Thousands remained without electricity, and some districts were without fresh water.

The death toll rose again on Friday when local authorities in Erftstadt-Blessem, south-west of Cologne, said a number of people had died after flood damage caused their houses to collapse. Gas leaks were complicating rescue efforts.

One place at the centre of the flooding was Schuld on the Ahr river: German TV showed its town centre piled high with debris.

“The effects of this catastrophe will surely be felt for weeks,” said Juergen Pfoehler, an official in the Ahrweiler district of Rhineland-Palatinate, south of Cologne.

Officials in Ahrweiler said about 1,300 people appeared to be missing as of Thursday night. Cellular networks were down, however, making it hard to locate people. “Due to the complexity of the damage caused, a final assessment of the situation is not yet possible,” the district government wrote on its website.

Floods have also hit parts of Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium, where 12 died and five people are still missing.

Speaking in Washington before talks with US president Joe Biden, German chancellor Angela Merkel pledged rapid help on Thursday to those affected by the floods, backed by “all the powers of the state”.

A severely damaged property in Schuld, near Adenau, in western Germany
Homes were severely damaged in Schuld, near Adenau, in Germany © Sasha Steinbach//EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

German interior minister Horst Seehofer told Der Spiegel magazine that the government would provide financial aid to the affected regions as quickly as possible, and a support programme would be put before the German cabinet on Wednesday.

Seehofer, 72, one of Germany’s veteran politicians, said that “in my entire political career in Germany I have never seen such a flood with such terrible consequences, with so many deaths and so many people missing”.

Scientists have warned that extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and heatwaves will increase as the planet continues to warm.

“No one can seriously doubt that this catastrophe is connected to climate change,” Seehofer said. “Overall, any sensible person must get the fact that freak weather of this density and frequency is not a normal phenomenon in this part of the world, but the consequences of man-made global warming.”

A couple embrace as they stand amid debris caused by the floodwater in Germany
A couple embrace as they stand amid debris caused by the floodwater in Germany © Christof Stache/AFP/Getty

The floods affected two German states, North Rhine-Westphalia, where authorities said 43 people had died, and Rhineland-Palatinate, which reported 50 deaths. Local officials said they expected the death toll to rise once the floodwaters ebbed.

This month’s floods across Europe are expected to lead to another billion-dollar loss for the insurance industry, according to broker Aon. It follows a torrent of hail and heavy rain in June that Aon predicted would lead to $ 4.5bn in payouts from insurers — making it Europe’s costliest two-week stretch on record.

The total financial impact last month, including uninsured losses, was more than $ 6bn, it predicted. 

Additional reporting by Ian Smith

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A large-scale rescue effort is underway after the heaviest rainfall in a century caused flash floods to devastate parts of Western Europe

Fast moving torrents of water inundated entire towns and villages in western and southern Germany, causing buildings to collapse and leaving residents stranded, police said Thursday. At least 55 people have died in the severe flooding but authorities said that number is expected to rise.
Germany is worst hit with 49 dead, while six people died in Belgium. Luxembourg and the Netherlands are also affected.
In Germany’s worst hit Rhineland-Palatinate state, 1,300 people are “assumed” missing in the district of Ahrweiler, the local government said.
“In some areas we have not seen this much rainfall in 100 years,” Andreas Friedrich, a German weather service spokesman, told CNN. He added that “in some areas we’ve seen more than double the amount of rainfall which has caused flooding and unfortunately some building structures to collapse.”
Along with Rhineland-Palatinate, the German regions of North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland were worst affected, Friedrich added.
Extreme rainfall totals were observed Wednesday into Thursday morning across much of western Germany and the Benelux region, with North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate seeing the highest rainfall totals, according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.
Widespread swaths of these states saw 24-hour rainfall totals between 100 and 150 millimeters (3.9-5.9 inches), which represent more than a month’s worth of rainfall in this region.
Cologne recorded 154 millimeters (6 inches) of rainfall in only 24 hours ending Thursday morning, which is nearly double its monthly average for July of 87 millimeters (3.45 inches).
Locally heavier downpours resulted in extreme flash flooding. In Reifferscheid, an incredible 207 millimeters (8.1 inches) of rain fell in only nine hours, according to the European Severe Weather Database.

At least 30 dead in one German state

In North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, 30 people have been found dead, a spokesman for the state government told CNN. According to the spokesman, at least 50 people were also injured in the floods and the number of people missing is unclear.
In Rhineland-Palatinate, at least 19 people were found dead, but “that number is expected to rise,” a spokesman for police in Koblenz told CNN.
On Thursday morning in the district of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, more than 1,000 police and emergency workers were called in, the local government said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is on her swansong visit to Washington, DC, described the deadly floods as a “catastrophe.”
“Here in Washington, my thoughts are also always with the people in our homeland,” Merkel said at a news conference on Thursday ahead of her meeting with President Joe Biden.
“Peaceful places are going through a catastrophe in these hours, one can say a tragedy. Heavy rainfall and floods are very inadequate words to describe this — it is therefore really a catastrophe.”
Merkel said the focus is on the rescue and immediate response to those affected by the floods, but added that she was in close contact with her country’s finance minister, Olaf Scholz, to work on a strategy for longer-term financial aid to help with recovery.
“I mourn for those who have lost their lives in this catastrophe — we do not yet know these numbers but there will be many,” she added.
Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert offered condolences to the families of the victims. “I am shocked by the disaster that so many people in the flood areas have to endure. My sympathies go out to the families of the dead and missing,” Seibert wrote on Twitter.
A woman tries to move in a flooded street following heavy rains in Liege, Belgium.
Merkel’s visit is likely her last to the US before stepping down as Chancellor in the fall after 16 years in power.
Armin Laschet, the premier of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Conservatives’ candidate to succeed Merkel, visited affected parts of the region on Thursday.
“We will be faced with such events over and over, and that means we need to speed up climate protection measures, on European, federal and global levels, because climate change isn’t confined to one state,” Laschet said.

Six deaths in Belgium

In neighboring Belgium, at least six people died in floods in the southern region of Wallonia, CNN affiliate RTBF reported Thursday, citing the magistrate on duty at the Verviers prosecutor’s office and the governor of the Liège province.
The Wallonia region borders North Rhine-Westphalia. The floods have also disrupted Belgium’s national railway network, Infrabel, stopping services in the French-speaking south of the country, the company said Thursday in a press release.
People ride on a trailer as the Dutch fire brigade evacuate people from their homes in South Limburg.
Italy has begun sending search crews and vehicles to Wallonia, the Italian Civil Protection agency said in a statement.
King Philippe of Belgium visited the town of Chaudfontaine, in the province of Liège, after it was hit by severe flooding.
“We are really touched by the severity of the catastrophe,” Philippe said in an on-camera statement. “Our thoughts go to the victims, their families, and all the people who had to be evacuated in emergency from disaster areas.”
Workers from France’s Civil Protection Agency arrived in the Belgium province of Liege to assist with recovery and rescue efforts.
“Rescuers from the instruction and intervention unit of the (French) Civil Protection carry out the first reconnaissance operations,” the French Civil Protection agency said in a post on Twitter, shortly after their arrival. “They will be joined this evening by firefighters, divers and lifeguards.”
The European Union also activated the civil emergency response mechanism to help areas of Belgium affected by floods, the EU Commission said Thursday in a statement.
“Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany you can count on the EU’s help to face these dramatic floods. My thoughts are with the victims of these tragic events and with all who will have to rebuild what they have lost. I want to thank all rescue teams for their invaluable help and relentless efforts,” EU Council president Charles Michel tweeted Thursday.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted an offer of support on Thursday.
“Shocking to see the devastating flooding across Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium,” Johnson tweeted.
“My thoughts are with the families of the victims and all those affected. The UK is ready to provide any support needed in the rescue and recovery effort.”
Shipping was also suspended on the River Rhine, one of Germany’s longest and most important arteries of industrial transport, according to NTV news.
Weather service spokesman Friedrich said the downpours were caused by cooler and warmer rainfall mixing. “It came from France at the beginning of the week to Germany and has been sitting over Germany for the last 48 hours,” he said.
“For now we predict the worst of the torrential rainfall is over, though more heavy rain is due in southwestern Germany on the upper reaches of the Rhine, (Thursday) and Friday,” he added.

Dutch city calls for two neighborhoods to evacuate

The city of Maastricht in the Netherlands has called on residents of the Heugem and Randwyck districts to leave their homes “as soon as possible” due to rising water in the river Meuse.
“The water in the Meuse is rising rapidly. We expect it to cross the quays at Randwyck/Heugem around 3 a.m.,” a news release from the city council of Maastricht said. “This means water will end up in the streets and homes.”
According to the Dutch statistics office, the population of the two neighborhoods is more than 9,000.

With climate change comes warmer air holding more water vapor

The extreme rainfall was the result of a slow-moving area of low pressure, which allowed a conveyor belt of warm and moist air to fuel powerful thunderstorms and bring heavy, long-lasting rainfall, according to the German national weather service, DWD.
Intense rainfall rates are becoming more common in the warming climate, as warmer air can hold more water vapor that is available to fall as rain.
“These kind of high-energy, sudden summer torrents of rain are exactly what we expect in our rapidly heating climate,” according to Hannah Cloke, a professor of hydrology at the University of Reading.
“The fact that other parts of the northern hemisphere are currently suffering record-breaking heatwaves and fires should serve as a reminder of just how much more dangerous our weather could become in an ever-warmer world,” Cloke said.
This story has been updated.

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Wildfires raging in the western United States, 2 Arizona firefighters were killed in a plane crash

Firefighters working in the hot weather struggled to control the Northern California wildfires that continued to spread on Sunday and forced a major highway to be temporarily closed. This was one of several fires in the western United States. Another heat wave broke records and strained the power grid.

In Arizona, on Saturday, two firefighters crashed an airplane that crashed while investigating a small wildfire in rural Mojave County. The Beech C-90 aircraft was helping to detect a lightning-induced fire in the Cedar Basin near the small community of Wikieup when it crashed around noon.

There are only two firefighters on board. Officials determined that one of them was Jeff Pichola, who was a retired fire chief in Tucson who worked for the US Forest Service. Before the relative was notified, the name of the other person was concealed. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.

In California, a fire in southern Oregon destroyed interstate power lines and prevented up to 5,500 megawatts of electricity from flowing south to the state. Officials demanded that all residents quickly reduce electricity consumption.

The California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s power grid, said on Saturday that due to the soaring temperature in the area, the Bootleg fire caused three power transmission lines to be cut off, resulting in a shortage of power supply.

The National Weather Service in Medford, Oregon, said on Twitter on Sunday: “The piracy fire today will see the potential for extreme growth.”

On Saturday, the Sugar Fire swept through downtown Doyle, California, burning along telephone poles. (Noah Berger/Associated Press)

Driven by strong winds, the fire spread in the dense timber of Fremont-Vinema National Forest (near Sprague River Township, Klamath County) in Oregon, spreading to 580 square kilometers.

Unstable wind is a problem

In the southeast, California’s largest wildfire this year is raging near the border with Nevada. The Beckwourth Complex Fire-the fire caused by two flashes of lightning burning 72 kilometers north of Lake Tahoe-doubled in size between Friday and Saturday, there is no sign of spreading northeast from the forested area of ??the Sierra Nevada.

Later on Saturday, flames spread from U.S. Highway 395, which was closed near Doyle, a small town in Lassen County, California. The driveway reopened on Sunday, and officials urged motorists to proceed with caution and continue along the key north-south route where the fire is still active.

“Don’t stop to take pictures,” said Jack Kagle, head of California’s Incident Management Operations Department. “If you stop and see what happened, you will hinder our actions.”

On Wednesday, a wildfire burned on Oregon Highway 138 near Steamboat, Oregon. (Oregon Department of Transportation/Associated Press)

Cagle said that Doyle’s building was burned down, but he did not have an exact figure. Bob Prary, who manages the Buck-Inn bar in the town of approximately 600 people, said that after the outbreak on Saturday, he saw at least six houses destroyed. On Sunday, Doyle and the surrounding fires were smoldering, but he worried that some remote pastures were still in danger.

“It looks like the worst situation in the town has passed, but back on the mountainside, the fire is still strong. Not sure what will happen if the wind changes,” Prali said. Kagle pointed out that unstable wind is a concern for firefighters, and gusts are expected to reach 32 km/h.

The fire was controlled by only 9%, and the fire expanded to 339 square kilometers. The temperature in the area may again exceed 37 degrees Celsius on Sunday.

Temperatures in Death Valley are as high as 53 degrees Celsius

This is one of several fires threatening homes in the western states. As the high pressure zone covers the area, the high temperature is expected to reach triple digits throughout the weekend.

According to readings by the National Weather Service in Furnace Creek, Death Valley in the Mojave Desert in southeastern California reached 53 degrees Celsius on Saturday. The shocking high temperature was actually lower than the day before, when the location reached 54 degrees Celsius.

Death Valley also recorded 54 C days in August last year. If the expert confirms that the reading and that Friday are accurate, they will be the highest temperature recorded there since July 1913, when the Furnace Desert reached 57 degrees Celsius, which is considered the highest temperature measured on earth.

On Sunday, a fan cooled a rescue horse at the Coachella Valley Horse Rescue Center in Indio, California. The well that provided tap water for the rescue broke, and the rescue has been relying on water donations from the community and the local fire department to keep its 18 horses alive in the California heat wave. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The National Weather Service warned that this dangerous situation could lead to heat-related diseases.

On Saturday, Palm Springs in Southern California also set a record high of 49 degrees Celsius, while Las Vegas tied the record of 47 degrees Celsius.

NV Energy, the largest electricity supplier in Nevada, also urges customers to save electricity on Saturday and Sunday nights, as heat waves and wildfires affect transmission lines throughout the region.

In Idaho, Governor Brad Little mobilized the state’s National Guard to help extinguish fires caused by thunderstorms that swept through dry areas.

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As heat waves sweep across the western United States, wildfires in Northern California spread

heat waves sweep across the western United StatesSan Francisco (Associated Press)-As another heat wave hit the western United States this weekend, firefighters worked hard to contain the wildfires in Northern California that exploded in blazing temperatures, prompting overheating warnings in inland and desert areas.

On Friday, the temperature in Death Valley National Park in California reached a staggering 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celsius) and may reach the same high temperature on Saturday. If confirmed, the 130 degree reading will be the highest temperature recorded since July 1913, when the same furnace river desert area reached 134 degrees Fahrenheit (57 degrees Celsius), which is considered the highest temperature reliably measured on earth.

Beckwourth Complex-two lightning-caused fires burning 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of Lake Tahoe-after doubling in size between Friday and Saturday, from the Sierra Nevada forest area to the northeast The direction of the fire showed no signs of slowing down.

There have been several fires in the mountains of northern California, destroying more than ten houses. Although there were no confirmed reports of damage to the building, the fire prompted approximately 2,800 people to issue evacuation orders or warnings and also closed nearly 200 square miles (518 square kilometers) of Plumas National Forest.

Fire Information Officer Lisa Cox said that on Friday, the rising hot air formed a huge, smoky cumulus cloud thousands of feet high and produced its own lightning.

The on-site fire caused by embers jumped a mile (1.6 km) before the northeast side—too far for firefighters to fight safely—and the wind gathered the fire into dry fuel-filled trenches and canyons, There “it can actually speed things up,” Cox said. Flames reached 100 feet (31 meters) in some places, forcing firefighters to focus on building bulldozer production lines to protect houses.

Cox said that firefighters usually use cool, humid nights to extinguish fires, but the high temperature and low humidity never stop. More than 1,200 firefighters were assisted by the aircraft. But it is expected that the fire will continue to move forward.

She added that the air is very dry, and some of the water dropped by the plane evaporates before it reaches the ground.

“We expect more of the same things to happen the day after tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow,” Cox said.

After fire officials made better observations, the fire was only controlled by 8%, and the fire increased sharply to 86 square miles (222 square kilometers).

This is one of several threatening homes in the western states. As the high-pressure zone covers the area, triple-digit high temperatures are expected throughout the weekend.

The National Weather Service warned that dangerous conditions could lead to heat-related diseases, and California’s grid operator issued a statewide Flex alert between 4pm and 9pm on Saturday to avoid interruptions and Power outages in turns.

The California independent system operator warned that the potential power shortage is not only due to high temperatures, but also because a wildfire in southern Oregon is threatening the transmission lines that carry imported power to California. Governor Gavin Newsom (Gavin Newsom) issued an emergency announcement on Friday, suspending regulations to allow more power capacity, and ISO requires other states to provide emergency assistance.

On Saturday, driven by strong winds, the size of the fire in Oregon doubled to 120 square miles (311 square kilometers) as it was in Fremont-Vine, near the town of Sprague River in Klamath County. Thick wood passes through the Ma National Forest.

NV Energy, the largest electricity supplier in Nevada, also urges customers to save electricity on Saturday and Sunday nights, as heat waves and wildfires affect transmission lines throughout the region.

In Southern California, a large rig in eastern San Diego County sparked a bushfire on Saturday, forcing the evacuation of two Native American reservations.

In north-central Arizona, Yavapai County on Saturday lifted its evacuation warning for the unincorporated town of Black Canyon City, 43 miles (66 kilometers) north of Phoenix, after fires in nearby mountains no longer pose a threat.

A wildfire in southeastern Washington spread to nearly 60 square miles (155 square kilometers) because it darkened grass and wood as it entered the Umatilla National Forest.

In Idaho, Governor Brad Little declared a wildfire emergency on Friday and mobilized the state’s National Guard to help extinguish fires caused by thunderstorms that swept through dry areas.

Firefighters in north-central Idaho are fighting three wildfires triggered by lightning, covering an area of ??62 square miles (160 square kilometers). In Dixie, a small remote community about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Grangeville, the fire threatened houses and forced people to evacuate.

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California battles wildfire as blazing heat hits western US

‘Record-breaking heat’ is expected to affect much of the west and southwest US over the weekend, weather centre warns.

Firefighters battled a surging wildfire in Northern California under blazing temperatures as another heat wave hits the Western United States this weekend, prompting an excessive heat warning for inland and desert areas.

California’s Death Valley National Park, about 177km (110 miles) west of Las Vegas in the neighbouring state of Nevada, registered a high of 54 Celsius (130 Fahrenheit) on Friday and was expected to reach the same temperature on Saturday.

If verified, the temperature reading would be the hottest high recorded there since July 1913, when the same Furnace Creek desert area hit 57C (134F), considered the highest reliably measured temperature on earth.

The Beckwourth Complex – two lightning-caused fires burning 72km (45 miles) north of Lake Tahoe – showed no sign of slowing its rush northeast from the Sierra Nevada forest region after doubling in size between Friday and Saturday.

Local newspaper The Mercury News reported that about 1,300 personnel were deployed on Saturday to stop the flames from reaching populated areas near the blaze, while some evacuations had been ordered.

Smoke envelops trees as the Sugar Fire, part of the Beckwourth Complex Fire, burns in Doyle, California, on Friday [Noah Berger/AP Photo]

The National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Prediction Center said on Twitter on Friday morning that “record-breaking heat” was expected to affect “much of the West and Southwest” during the weekend.

“Over 31 million people are currently under an Excessive Heat Warning or Heat Advisory. Highs well into the triple digits could threaten Las Vegas’ all-time high temperature record of 117F,” the centre said.

California’s northern mountain areas already have seen several large fires that have destroyed more than a dozen homes.

Although there are no confirmed reports of building damage, the fire prompted evacuation orders or warnings for roughly 2,800 people along with the closure of nearly 518 square kilometres (200 square miles) of Plumas National Forest.

The blazes come just weeks after the northwestern US and Canada’s west coast were hit by record temperatures late last month, prompting authorities in both countries to open cooling centres and urge residents to stay cool indoors.

The heat wave contributed to hundreds of deaths in the province of British Columbia alone, officials said.

Experts have said climate change is fuelling more extreme weather events, such as wildfires and heat waves – and some have urged US President Joe Biden to take up an ambitious, long-term strategy to reduce the risk of devastating wildfires.

The weekend’s potentially record temperatures on the US west coast come after the hottest June in 127 years of record-keeping, according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA).

Eight states recorded their hottest June on record this year, while another six logged their second-hottest, the NOAA said.

Back in California, on Friday hot rising air formed a gigantic, smoky pyrocumulus cloud that reached thousands of feet high and created its own lightning, fire information officer Lisa Cox said.

Spot fires caused by embers leapt up to 1.6 kilometres ahead of the northeastern flank – too far for firefighters to safely battle – and winds funnelled the fire up draws and canyons full of dry fuel, where “it can actually pick up speed”, Cox said.

US Forest Service firefighters monitor the Sugar Fire burning in Plumas National Forest, California, on July 9 [Noah Berger/AP Photo]

Firefighters usually take advantage of cooler, more humid nights to advance on a fire, Cox said, but the heat and low humidity never let up.

The air was so dry that some of the water dropped by aircraft evaporated before reaching the ground, she added. “We’re expecting more of the same the day after and the day after and the day after,” Cox said.

The NWS’s Weather Prediction Center also said on Saturday that even if the temperatures do not break records, “the widespread, oppressive, and long-lasting heat remains a threat”.

Temperatures near a Western Canada beach topped 125 degrees, causing a massive marine life die-off

Christopher Harley, a professor in the zoology department at The University of British Columbia, found countless dead mussels popped open and rotting in their shells on Sunday at Kitsilano Beach, which is a few blocks away from his Vancouver home.
Harley studies the effects of climate change on the ecology of rocky shores where clams, mussels and sea stars live, so he wanted to see how the intertidal invertebrates were faring in the record heat wave that hit the area on June 26-28.
Christopher Harley estimates that a billion mussels, clams and other animals may have died from the heat.
“I could smell that beach before I got to it, because there was already a lot of dead animals from the previous day, which was not the hottest of three,” he said. “I started having a look around just on my local beach and thought, ‘Oh, this, this can’t be good.'”
The next day, Harley and one of his students went to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, which he has been visiting for more than 12 years.
“It was a catastrophe over there,” he said. “There’s a really extensive mussel bed that coats the shore and most of those animals had died.”

Unprecedented heat

Mussels attach themselves to rocks and other surfaces and are used to being exposed to the air and sunlight during low tide, Harley said, but they generally can’t survive temperatures over 100 degrees for very long.
Temperatures in downtown Vancouver were 98.6 degrees on June 26, 99.5 on the 27th and 101.5 on the 28th.
It was even hotter on the beach.
Harley and his student used a FLIR thermal imaging camera that found surface temperatures topping 125 degrees.
At this time of the year, low tide hits at the hottest part of the day in the area, so the animals can’t make it until the tide comes back in, he said.
Climate scientists called the heat wave in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest in the United States “unprecedented” and warned that climate change would make these events more frequent and intense.
“We saw heat records over the weekend only to be broken again the next day,” Kristina Dahl, a senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told CNN, “particularly for a part of the country where this type of heat does not happen very often.”
An analysis by more than two dozen scientists at World Weather Attribution found that the heat wave “would have been virtually impossible without the influence of human-caused climate change.”
It was also incredibly dangerous.
There were 719 deaths reported to the province’s coroners between June 25 and July 1 — three times as many as would normally occur during that time period, according to a statement from Lisa Lapointe, British Columbia’s chief coroner. Hundreds of people died in the US and many had to be hospitalized because of the heat.

A billion animals may have died

Harley said the heat may have killed as many as a billion mussels and other sea creatures in the Salish Sea, which includes the Strait of Georgia, the Puget Sound, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but he said that was a very preliminary estimate.
He said that 50 to 100 mussels could live in a spot the size of the palm of your hand and that several thousand could fit in an area the size of a kitchen stovetop.
“There’s 4,000-some miles of shoreline in the Salish Sea, so when you start to scale up from what we’re seeing locally to what we’re expecting, based on what we know where mussels live, you get to some very big numbers very quickly,” he said. “Then you start adding in all the other species, some of which are even more abundant.”
He said he’s worried that these sorts of events seem to be happening more often.
Brian Helmuth, a marine biology professor at Northeastern University, said that mussel beds, like coral reefs, serve as an early warning system for the health of the oceans.
“When we see mussel beds disappearing, they’re the main structuring species, so they’re almost like the trees in the forest that are providing a habitat for other species, so it’s really obvious when a mussel bed disappears,” he said. “When we start seeing die-offs of other smaller animals, because they’re moving around, because they’re not so dense, It’s not quite as obvious.”
He said the death of a mussel bed can cause “a cascading effect” on other species.
Both scientists said they were concerned that these heat waves were becoming more common and they weren’t sure whether the mussel beds would be able to recover.
“What worries me is that if you start getting heat waves like this, every 10 years instead of every 1,000 years or every five years, then it’s — myou’re getting hit too hard, too rapidly to actually ever recover,” Harley said. “And then the ecosystem is going to just look very, very different.”

Western States Face Excessive Heat Warnings and Advisories

Dangerously hot conditions and triple-digit temperatures are forecast for the Western United States this week, leading to a wave of excessive heat warnings and heat advisories from Central California and Nevada up to Washington.

Temperatures are forecast to reach as high as 107 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday in the San Joaquin Valley in Northern California, according to the National Weather Service, and temperatures that may be 16 to 18 degrees above normal for this time of year, may break daily records in the Fresno area.

In Nevada, Las Vegas saw its first 100-degree day of the year on Monday. Areas around the city and just across the California state line in Death Valley will be under an excessive heat warning from Wednesday morning through Friday night, the Weather Service said. Temperatures may climb up to 118 in Death Valley.

A heat advisory is also in effect through Thursday night for the central and southeastern portion of Washington, including the towns of Clarkston, Pomeroy and Bridgeport, the Weather Service said. High temperatures could reach the lower 100s. Similar sweltering conditions are forecast for portions of Western Oregon.

Hot weather is also forecast for Montana over Wednesday and Thursday with high temperatures climbing into the upper 80s and upper 90s. High temperatures could reach 15 to 25 degrees above normal, meteorologists said.

Warmer-than-average temperatures have been the trend in recent memory. Last year tied 2016 as the hottest year on record, according to European climate researchers. To complicate matters, a severe drought is ravaging the entire Western half of the United States, from the Pacific Coast, across the Great Basin and desert Southwest, and up through the Rockies to the Northern Plains.

Meteorologists have advised residents to stay hydrated, wear light clothing when outside, limit outdoor exposure and be mindful of any signs of heat related-illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Older adults and children are the most vulnerable, the Weather Service said.

A recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change suggested that more than a third of heat-related deaths in many parts of the world can be attributed to the extra warming associated with climate change. The research found that heat-related deaths in warm seasons were boosted by climate change by an average of 37 percent, in a range of a 20 to 76 percent increase.

Author: Derrick Bryson Taylor
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

Disturbance in the western Gulf now has a 50% chance to develop

May 21

1 p.m. update
The NHC is now giving the disturbance in the Gulf a 50% chance of development (becoming a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm).

The impacts in our area will be minor regardless of development. We can expect scattered showers and storms along with wind gusts over 30 mph overnight and through Saturday, with rain tapering off from east to west on Sunday.

Still, if it makes landfall in Texas at tropical depression or storm strength, it’ll be the first in recorded history to do so before June 1, the customary start of the Atlantic hurricane season.

1 p.m. update
A large area of thunderstorms in the western Gulf is drifting northwest towards the Texas coast.

Conditions are slightly favorable for development and the National Hurricane Center is giving it a 60% chance. Whether it develops or not, it’ll give us at least scattered, heavy downpours overnight and through the day on Saturday.

High rain rates along with the slow movement of the storms means some flooding will be possible. Gusty winds and coastal flooding may also be an issue near the coast.

May 20, 2021

According to the latest NOAA outlook, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season will be busier than normal, but it’s unlikely to be as crazy as 2020’s record-shattering year.They’re expecting 13-20 tropical storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-5 major hurricanes.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, although storms can form before and after those dates.

During hurricane season, ABC13 meteorologists will provide daily tropical weather updates on this page.

Southeast Texas
Harris County

Galveston County
Montgomery/Walker/San Jacinto/Polk/Grimes Counties
Fort Bend/Wharton/Colorado Counties
Brazoria/Matagorda CountiesDuring hurricane season, remain prepared and make sure you download our ABC13 Houston app!

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Author: Travis Herzog

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed