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A boiling summer time is now a scorching fall within the West

The desert Southwest is a sizzling place to dwell, however think about spending over half of the 12 months with excessive temperatures of at the very least 100 levels. Parts of California and Arizona did simply that this 12 months.

Long stretches of warmth do not simply adversely affect people and animals, but in addition contribute to the continuing drought and wildfires within the western US.

A sequence of high-pressure programs in unfavorable places haven’t solely allowed for temperatures to soar over the previous few months, however have successfully blocked any giant, rainmaking storms from transferring by way of the world.

“High pressure directly overhead, or to the south of Arizona contributed to our lack of rainfall and hot temperatures,” stated Emily Carpenter, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s workplace in Tucson, Arizona.

It’s 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.

“The area of high pressure aloft that drives the annual monsoon flow remained right over the top of Arizona or to the south for a large part of summer which suppressed thunderstorms, kept deep monsoonal moisture to our south and led to the very hot temperatures that resulted in the hottest and 2nd driest monsoon on record,” John Glueck, a senior meteorologist climate service, stated in his compilation of knowledge of the 2020 monsoon season.

But it is 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 acquired 1.62 inches of rain within the 2020 monsoon season, second solely to 1924 when the world solely picked up 1.59 inches.

Other 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 seems like, because the metropolis final noticed some on May 18.

Las Vegas set a file for the longest dry stretch in its recorded historical past, at present sitting at 180 consecutive days, together with Saturday since no rain is within the forecast. The metropolis final noticed measurable rainfall on April 20.

This would 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. More 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 area where major crop and pasture losses are common, fire risk is extreme, and widespread water shortages can be expected requiring restrictions.”

“With over 95% of Colorado experiencing drought conditions and over 50% considered an extreme drought, the state is in desperate need of rain and snow,” says Derek Van Dam, CNN meteorologist. “This state is yet another example of the long-term drying trend experienced over the western US, a product of climate change and our warming planet.”

A really extended stretch of warmth

And if the drought alone wasn’t dangerous sufficient, this summer time has introduced baking temperatures with many cities experiencing an irregular quantity of 100-degree days.

On Friday, Tucson hit 101 levels which implies the town tied with October 16, 1991, for the most recent occurring 100-degree day within the 12 months. This coming after hitting 110 levels on September 4, the most recent the temperature has reached 110, breaking the previous file set on August 22, 1930. September Four is also the 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 typical 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 at the very least 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 .

This implies that each Palm Springs and Phoenix have spent at the very least 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 wish to have.

Unfortunately, issues do not appear like they’ll change all that a lot over the subsequent few months. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s official winter outlook requires extra further hotter, drier circumstances throughout the Southwest thanks partly to a really robust La Nina. Which additionally means drought circumstances will proceed, if not worsen, as we head into 2021.

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