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Heat Wave

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Caroline Moore

More stories from Caroline Moore

Bird Box
February 5, 2019
Graphic by Flickr

Graphic by Flickr

All around the world temperatures are rising.  Cities and even entire countries are experiencing some of the hottest summers in recorded temperature data history.  A heat wave is a period of excessively hot weather, sometimes accompanied by humidity.  A heat wave is also measured relative to the surrounding area. If an average daytime temperature is 80° in your town, having a series of 100º days would be considered a heat wave.  As for here in the Valley, we experience 100º days in September. Over summer, however, a heat wave for us would be considered multiple days with temperatures around 120º.

Heat wave in Northern Africa and Europe.
Image created by Earth Observatory/NASA

 The main reason for a heat wave to develop is a system of high atmospheric pressure moving into an area. The high-pressure air travels with the wind and settles down where ever it chooses. It becomes difficult when high-pressure air settles above a certain area, and then it doesn’t move. The high pressure becomes heavy and resistant to the winds trying to move it along. Coupled with the fact that sometimes little to no wind occurs further causes the high pressure to stagnate making temperatures even hotter.

 

Historical heat wave with temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius (95 F) in Stockholm
https://www.ctif.org/news/sweden-burning-eu-rushes-aid-multiple-unstoppable-forest-fires-during-hottest-summer-260-years

Globally there are more places being affected than we realize.  In North America, Los Angeles set an all-time high-temperature record of 111° on July 6 this past summer. Montreal set an all-time high-temperature record, during a deadly Quebec heat wave in early July as well.  Places that you would not even consider to be a hot place are now being affected. In Europe, never before has recorded heat led to a wildfire outbreak in Scandinavia, and record temperatures have been set all the way above the Arctic Circle this month.

 

Heat waves are also making some areas of the world so hot it’s not appropriate to live in those places anymore. Even Death Valley broke world records. With an average summer temperature of 108º, this summer was the hottest ever. Daily temperatures hovered at and near 127º.

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About the Writer
Caroline Moore, Writer

I'm currently a senior at Xavier.  I'm on the Educational Board for the Department of Youth and Government and travel throughout California as an advocate...

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