A record-breaking heat wave has baked the West for days – setting record high temperatures, fueling devastating wildfires and threatening rolling power shutoffs in California – and it is causing a strong rumbling along Mexico’s Pacific coast. The effects of the storm could last even longer.
“We’re getting into the worst part of it now — the risk of an outage is real,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a Tweet on Tuesday, adding that the temperature in the state is “unprecedented”. He said the heat wave for California in September will be the hottest and longest on record.
Pacific Gas & Electric, the nation’s largest utility, is notified About 525,000 customers, and California residents, have been urged to save electricity in hopes of avoiding them, to prepare for potential rotating outages. The California Independent System Operator, which manages most of the state’s power grid, issued a flex alert Wednesday for the 8th day in a row, urging residents to set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, avoid using major appliances and 4 Called to switch off all unnecessary lights. noon and 9 pm
The California Independent System Operator issued an emergency alert for Tuesday – when peak demand hit an all-time high of 52,061 megawatts – saying grid conditions had deteriorated and energy supplies were insufficient to cover demand. Hours later the alert was lifted and The operator thanked “Consumer Protection”.
With the heat raging from climate change, some communities across the region have seen record high temperatures: Sacramento soared to 116 degrees on Tuesday, the hottest day on record for the state capital, According to the National Weather Service, Records were also broken across the Bay Area, with some cities breaking the previous daily record by more than 10 degrees.
While relief was expected on Thursday, the oppressive heat is now expected to last through at least Friday, with the storm forecast to determine Southern California’s weather patterns in addition to bringing heavy rain and strong winds to the Mexican coast.
According to the National Weather Service in Los Angeles, Kay will still be about 220 miles south of San Diego, but the flow around the storm will bring strong winds to the area, which could bring extreme heat all the way to the beaches. . ,
The Weather Service in San Diego extended the extreme heat warning for the region until Friday, taking into account the possibility of higher temperatures reaching the coast in the 90s to 100s.
The human-caused climate crisis is exacerbating extreme weather in California, climate and weather experts told CNN, pushing temperatures this month to unprecedented levels.
And the ongoing heat wave could, in fact, be the worst on record for any month, not just September, UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain said in a Twitter Space discussion on Tuesday.
“This will inevitably be the worst September heat wave on record, certainly in Northern California and arguably for the state as a whole,” Swain said. “According to some metrics, this record, period, could be one of the worst heat waves in any given month, given its duration and its extreme magnitude, particularly in northern California and the Sacramento area in particular.”
Jan Null, a California meteorologist and owner of Golden Gate Weather Services, pointed to San Jose, which recorded a temperature of 109 degrees Tuesday, breaking the all-time high temperature record. Nine of the city’s top 10 hottest days have occurred in the 21st century, he said – a sign that the climate crisis is fueling extreme heat. “And all the modeling is showing that we’re going to see more frequent heat waves and longer heat waves,” Null said.
“In some ways,” he said, “this is the new normal.”
Scientists say greenhouse gas emissions from human activities have warmed the planet by about 1.2 Celsius since pre-industrial times and that a warmer baseline means higher temperatures can be reached during extreme heat events.
According to the Meteorological Service, several heat records have been set across the West.
The San Francisco airport hit 97 degrees on Monday, breaking a daily record. Salinas reached 103 degrees, breaking the previous record of 92 degrees set in 2004. Livermore achieved a record high of 116.
Salt Lake City recorded 104 on Monday, the hottest September day on record and also the 32nd day this year with temperatures reaching at least 100 degrees, surpassing the previous record by 11 days.
Temperatures in Billings, Montana, reached 100 degrees on Monday, tying the previous record. It was the first time Billings has hit the 100-degree mark twice in the same September.
Hot and dry conditions also mean that fires spread more quickly, are more intense, and burn longer.
Several devastating wildfires have erupted over the past week, killing at least four people in two California blazes that also burned homes and thousands of acres.
Simultaneous fires burning in drought-stricken lands have filled the hot atmosphere with smoke, leaving air quality in some parts of the western states.
Thick smoke from many wildfires is visible from space, according to photos released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The fires have displaced thousands of residents as flames continued to spread over communities, rippling through dry vegetation, and burning homes and cars.
On Monday, two people were killed in a rapidly growing Fairview fire in Southern California, forcing hundreds of residents to flee. As of Wednesday, the fire had burned 7,091 acres and contained 5%, according to an update from fire officials.
To the north, in Siskiyou County, two women, ages 66 and 73, died in a mill fire that burned 3,935 acres and destroyed 107 structures, according to Cal Fire.
Nearby, the Mountain Fire, also burning in Siskiyou County, spread to 11,690 acres.
In Oregon, the Cedar Creek fire consumed 18,143 acres in six days after being struck by lightning, officials said.
Meanwhile, the Ross Fork Fire in Idaho, which ignited in mid-August, is still burning and has spread to 28,874 acres. Firefighters had 2% on Wednesday.