The desert Southwest is a sizzling place to stay, however think about spending over half of the 12 months with excessive temperatures of a minimum of 100 levels. Components of California and Arizona did simply that this 12 months.
Lengthy stretches of warmth do not simply adversely affect people and animals, but additionally contribute to the continuing drought and wildfires within the western US.
A sequence of high-pressure techniques in unfavorable areas haven’t solely allowed for temperatures to soar over the previous few months, however have successfully blocked any giant, rainmaking storms from transferring by means of the world.
“Excessive strain immediately overhead, or to the south of Arizona contributed to our lack of rainfall and sizzling temperatures,” stated Emily Carpenter, a meteorologist for the Nationwide Climate Service’s workplace in Tucson, Arizona.
It is greater than just a bit dry. The month of September tied the earlier file set in 1953 for the driest month in Tucson. In each years, no rainfall was measured.
However it’s a ‘dry warmth’
The 2020 monsoon season ranked because the second driest on file for the Tucson space. The monsoon season is outlined by the climate service as any rainfall from June 15 to September 30. The Tucson space solely obtained 1.62 inches of rain within the 2020 monsoon season, second solely to 1924 when the world solely picked up 1.59 inches.
Different southwestern cities have additionally felt the drought. Phoenix hasn’t recorded any measurable rain since August 20. In San Diego, June 29 was the final time any measurable rain fell. Downtown Los Angeles in all probability forgets what rain even appears to be like like, because the metropolis final noticed some on Might 18.
This is able to additionally clarify why Las Vegas additionally had its driest monsoon on file this 12 months. Yuma, Arizona, additionally achieved that very same file.
None of those locations are alone within the battle for rainfall. Greater than 80 p.c of the western US is coping with drought circumstances.
In Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah, the extent of utmost drought encompasses greater than 50% of every state. The climate service defines excessive drought as “an space the place main crop and pasture losses are widespread, hearth danger is excessive, and widespread water shortages might be anticipated requiring restrictions.”
“With over 95% of Colorado experiencing drought circumstances and over 50% thought of an excessive drought, the state is in determined want of rain and snow,” says Derek Van Dam, CNN meteorologist. “This state is yet one more instance of the long-term drying development skilled over the western US, a product of local weather change and our warming planet.”
A really extended stretch of warmth
And if the drought alone wasn’t dangerous sufficient, this summer season has introduced baking temperatures with many cities experiencing an irregular quantity of 100-degree days.
On Friday, Tucson hit 101 levels which suggests town tied with October 16, 1991, for the newest occurring 100-degree day within the 12 months. This coming after hitting 110 levels on September 4, the newest the temperature has reached 110, breaking the outdated file set on August 22, 1930. September Four is also town’s hottest September temperature on file.
Friday additionally added to Tucson’s file complete of 108 days with 100-degree temperatures in 2020. For comparability, the common variety of 100-degree days in a 12 months for Tucson is 62, in keeping with the climate service.
Palm Springs, California, has additionally seen a file variety of triple-digit days this 12 months. The forecast requires a excessive temperature of 102 levels on Saturday, which can mark the 148th day of temperatures at or above 100 in Palm Springs.
On Friday, Phoenix had its 145th day in 2020 the place the thermometer reached a minimum of 100 levels — a file in keeping with the climate service’s Phoenix workplace. The earlier file of 143 days was set in 1989.
As of Saturday, precisely half of the times this 12 months — 145 days out of 290 — have reached 100 levels in Phoenix .
Which means each Palm Springs and Phoenix have spent a minimum of half of the 290 days to this point of this 12 months with temperatures at or above 100 levels. An achievement that neither in all probability need to have.