Extreme heat – especially for several days, as is the case with heat waves – can put stress on the human body ; heat illnesses and death could result. Everyone is sensitive to the heat, but the elderly and children are particularly vulnerable.
Why is this heat wave happening?
Phillips explains that the sweltering temps are due to what climatologists call a “heat dome” – a strong ridge of high pressure that traps warm air underneath it like a dome, allowing the sun to bake the earth below, creating a heat wave that lingers for days.
Another frequent question is “What causes a heat wave?”.
Both heat waves are caused by atmospheric conditions called heat domes. In short, a heat dome is a trap. It forms when high pressure in the upper atmosphere creates a sort of lid or cap that stops hot air from escaping, according to NOAA. As the air sinks back down to Earth, it compresses and heats up even more.
While we were researching we ran into the question “What kind of damage does a heat wave cause?”.
Aside from causing uncomfortably high temperatures, heat waves can result in heat illness, poor air quality, wildfires, and drought. Extremely high temperatures are associated with heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and heat cramps.
Basically, a heat wave occurs when a high-pressure system in the atmosphere, instead of moving across the landscape, stays stuck in one location – for days or even weeks. But in the mega heat waves that killed tens of thousands of people in Europe and Russia, there was another factor.
What determines a heat wave?
A heat wave is an extended period of abnormally high temperatures experienced within a specific region. Conditions are officially declared a heat wave when the daily maximum temperature is at least 5° Celsius (9° Fahrenheit) warmer than the average maximum temperature for 5 consecutive days or more.
According to the NHS, the main risks are: 1. Dehydration When you fail to drink enough water to replenish the fluids lost through urination, sweating and breathing, you become dehydrated. Being dehydrated doesn’t just make you feel thirsty – it can also have a major impact on how your entire body functions.
Why is there a heat wave in pnw?
On June 23, the United States National Weather Service warned of an approaching heat wave in the Pacific Northwest, whose origins could be traced to torrential rains in China. There, the warm, moist air rose and was eventually sucked up by the jet stream, which transported it east over cooler waters.
This is because greenhouse gas emissions trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere which raises air temperature significantly. In recent years, heatwaves have become much more prevalent in the PNW and U. S. West in general.
What does this heat wave mean for the Pacific Northwest?
And the hotter it gets, the larger the attribution will be. Regardless of cause though, stay safe ! So what is causing this heat wave?
You should be asking “How will the heat affect the power grid in the Pacific Northwest?”
Power grids are anticipated to be seriously strained, and worries of heat stroke among Pacific Northwest residents are growing, as a large percentage of the homes in Seattle and Portland lack air conditioning. The heat this weekend will even impact the U. S. Olympic Team Trials for track and field.
Why is the Pacific Northwest experiencing record-high temperatures?
The heat dome is holding record-high temperatures in place over the Pacific Northwest. CBS News Why are these temperatures so extreme ? Areas of high pressure, like heat domes, have sinking air. This compresses the air on the ground and through compression it heats the air column.
Will a heat wave break a record?
Records will break. Temperatures are expected to reach around 20 degrees Fahrenheit above average in some regions.
When warm low temperatures are combined with high humidity, the impacts can be exacerbated. Without relief from the heat at night, heat stress can continue to build and increase the risk of heat illnesses and death. In fact, there are indications that nights can be more deadly than the daytime during a heat wave.