(ORDO NEWS) — The 10-day heat wave in California and other parts of the West is the worst ever recorded in September, according to meteorologists, confirming what California’s governor calls “the hottest and longest ever” month.
The data supporting this claim is staggering. Records began to fall on Aug. 30, when Seattle and Portland set calendar-day records of 90 and 100. And it’s not over yet – while the region’s heatwave peaked on Tuesday, it’s expected to last through Saturday and end in a total of 12 days.
In total, about 1,000 heat records have been broken in the last week, including more than 270 monthly records. In some places, such as Salt Lake City, Sacramento and Reno, Neva State, September records have been broken multiple times and by large margins.
Sacramento and San Jose, where temperatures reached 116 and 109 degrees on Tuesday, broke all-time records, meaning temperatures exceeded levels seen on any previous day or month.
It is “the worst September heat on record west of the Rocky Mountains,” weather historian Maximiliano Herrera tweeted on Wednesday.
In addition to its scale and duration, the heat wave was also exceptional in its scope. Record temperatures spread from Arizona to Washington state and east to North Dakota.
At least two states recorded the highest temperatures on record in September:
Utah: In St. George, in the southwest of the state, temperatures reached 112 degrees on Tuesday.
Montana: Temperatures hit 108 degrees on Wednesday at Big Horn.
When temperatures hit 125 degrees in Death Valley on Tuesday, it was just one degree off September’s California and world record.
Of all the states, California has the most extreme temperatures for the longest period of time. Sacramento, Death Valley, Stockton and Fresno experienced their warmest 7-day spells in September “by a wide margin,” according to analysis by meteorologist Don Sutherland.
On Tuesday, at the height of the heatwave, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) called it “unprecedented,” tweeting that it “will be the hottest and longest in September history.”
The experts agreed with him.
“Basically, this will be the worst September heat wave on record, by far in Northern California and possibly the state as a whole,” Daniel Swain, a climatologist at the University of California, said in a Twitter discussion.
Christopher Burt, author of a book on extreme weather, called Tuesday “one of the hottest, if not the hottest day on record in California weather.” On that day, electricity demand in California hit an all-time high.
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Although the heat wave is gradually weakening, it still sets records. About a dozen more records will be broken or set before Saturday, according to forecasts by the National Weather Service. Excessive heat warnings and heat advisories are still in place for approximately 30 million people in California.
This is exactly the kind of heat that is expected to become more widespread due to anthropogenic climate change, which has already made such events more intense, frequent and prolonged.
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