California faces worst heatwave of the year amid blackout threat

California faces worst heatwave of the year amid blackout threat

California faces worst heatwave of the year amid blackout threat

A protracted and dangerous heatwave is hitting the western United States this week, with potentially record temperatures.

High temperatures could put a strain on California’s electrical system, the state grid operator warned, as energy demand increases, largely due to air-conditioning needs. Over the weekend, when temperatures are expected to be warmer, electricity storage may be required to avoid outages, they added.

By the weekend, high temperatures are expected to reach or soar 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) across much of Southern California, Central Valley, Arizona, and Nevada.

As early as Wednesday, temperatures were expected to rise to around or well above 38 ° C across the region, and the heat will increase over the next few days. In some areas, daily highs could reach 115F (46C).

The extreme temperatures in this “prolonged and possibly record” late summer heatwave could be dangerous to human health, especially as the high nighttime temperatures will provide “little relief,” according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Monday, Labor Day, the heat should be at its peak. Sacramento, California is expected to reach 45 ° C by noon. The hottest temperature ever recorded in the city is 46 ° C.

The rest of Central Valley will also be extremely hot on Monday, between the 107F (42C) forecast in Bakersfield and the 111F (44C) forecast in Stockton, Chico and Redding. Downtown Los Angeles is expected to reach around 100F (38C), while parts of the San Fernando Valley and the Inland Empire could reach well over 110F (43C).

High temperatures will remain at 43 ° C or just below much of western Arizona, including Phoenix, and southern Nevada, including Las Vegas, for the rest of the week and into the weekend.

Temperatures are also expected to reach around 100F (38C) Wednesday and Friday across much of eastern Oregon and Washington, as well as parts of Idaho.

An “excessive heat warning” has been issued for most of California, as well as parts of Nevada and Arizona. Other parts of California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Idaho are under “extreme heat control” or “heat warning”.

The heat wave is driven by a “heat dome,” which is a contained bubble of hot air that can linger over an area for days.

The NWS office in Sacramento he warned people to stay alert to these extremes of heat during the week, stay hydrated and seek air conditioning.

Such high temperatures can be incredibly dangerous, especially for people such as the elderly, young children, and people with pre-existing health conditions. Heat-related illnesses can range from sunburn and rashes to life-threatening heat exhaustion, in which the body is unable to cool itself.

The heat wave is also bringing a renewed fire hazard to the region, as low humidity and constant heat can be a boon to sparks and flames. Several wildfires are already burning in the western United States, including two in Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California.

In western Oregon, the Rum Creek and Cedar Creek fires burned nearly 13,000 acres and 8,000 acres respectively, remaining mostly uncontained.

The risk of forest fires is further exacerbated by the continuing and devastating drought in the west west, which has dried up vegetation and made the wilds ready to burn.

Heatwaves like this are expected to become more common and even hotter as the climate crisis escalates.

The world has already warmed about 1.1-1.2 ° C above the temperatures of the 19th century. If the world reached 2 ° C of warming, the heat waves that occurred once every 10 years would occur about once every two years and would be 2.6 ° C warmer, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Changes. climatic.

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