Red-hot Planet: All-time Heat Records Set Worldwide over Past Week
July 15, 2018 Jason Samenow / The Washington Post & United Nations & Vanessa Romo / NPR
From the normally mild summer climes of Ireland, Scotland and Canada to the scorching Middle East to Southern California, numerous locations in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past week. Africa may have witnessed its all-time hottest temperature Thursday: 124 degrees in Algeria.
Red-hot Planet: All-time Heat Records Have Been
Set All Over the World During the Past Week Jason Samenow / The Washington Post
(This article was updated Wednesday to add all-time heat records at Mount Washington, N.H., and Tbilisi, Georgia set since Monday. On Thursday, the story was updated to include information on heat-related deaths in Canada and extraordinary heat in Siberia. On Friday, it was updated to add the likely all-time heat record in Africa and Southern California.)
(July 5, 2018) -- From the normally mild summer climes of Ireland, Scotland and Canada to the scorching Middle East to Southern California, numerous locations in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past week.
Large areas of heat pressure or heat domes scattered around the hemisphere led to the sweltering temperatures. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports the heat is to blame for at least 54 deaths in southern Quebec, mostly in and near Montreal, which endured record high temperatures.
In Northern Siberia, along the coast of the Arctic Ocean -- where weather observations are scarce -- model analyses showed temperatures soaring 40 degrees above normal on July 5, to over 90 degrees. "It is absolutely incredible and really one of the most intense heat events I've ever seen for so far north," wrote meteorologist Nick Humphrey, who offers more detail on this extraordinary high-latitude hot spell on his blog.
European model analysis shows temperatures in northern Siberia along Arctic Ocean rising more than 40 degrees above normal early July 5. (WeatherBell.com)
On Thursday, Africa likely witnessed its hottest temperature ever reliably measured. Ouargla, Algeria soared to 124.3 degrees (51.3 Celsius). If verified, it would surpass Africa's previous highest reliable temperature measurement of 123.3 degrees (50.7 Celsius) set July 13, 1961, in Morocco.
No single record, in isolation, can be attributed to global warming. But collectively, these heat records are consistent with the kind of extremes we expect to see increase in a warming world.
Let's take a tour around the world of the recent hot-weather milestones.
A massive and intense heat dome has consumed the eastern two-thirds of the United States and southeast Canada since late last week. It's not only been hot but also exceptionally humid. Here are some of the notable all-time records set:
* The University of California Los Angeles set its all-time high-temperature of 111 degrees on July 6, along with several other locations in Southern California.
*Denver tied its all-time high-temperature record of 105 degrees on June 28.
*Mount Washington, N.H. , tied its all-time warmest low temperature of 60 degrees on July 2.
*Burlington, Vt. , set its all-time warmest low temperature ever recorded of 80 degrees on July 2.
*Montreal recorded its highest temperature in recorded history, dating back 147 years, of 97.9 degrees (36.6 Celsius) on July 2. The city also posted its most extreme midnight combination of heat and humidity.
*Ottawa posted its most extreme combination of heat and humidity on July 1.
Excessive heat torched the British Isles late last week. The stifling heat caused roads and roofs to buckle, the Weather Channel reported, and resulted in multiple all-time record highs:
* In Scotland, Glasgow had its hottest day on record, hitting 89.4 degrees (31.9 Celsius). Previously, it was reported that Scotland set its hottest temperature on record of 91.8 degrees (33.2 Celsius) on June 28 in Motherwell, about 12 miles southeast of Glasgow. However, upon further evaluation, the U.K. Met Office determined the record was invalid due to an artificial heating source near the temperature sensor.
* In Ireland, on June 28, Shannon hit 89.6 degrees (32 Celsius), its all-time record.
* In Northern Ireland, *Belfast hit 85.1 degrees (29.5 Celsius) on June 28, its all-time record. *Castlederg hit 86.2 degrees (30.1 Celsius) on June 29, its all-time record.
A large dome of high pressure, or heat dome, has persistently sat on top of Eurasia over the past week, resulting in some extraordinarily hot weather:
*Tbilisi, Georgia: On July 4, the capital city soared to 104.9 degrees (40.5 Celsius), its all-time record.
*Yerevan, Armenia: On July 2, the capital city soared to 107.6 degrees (42 Celsius), a record high for July and tying its record for any month.
* Several locations in southern Russia topped or matched their warmest June temperatures on record on the 28th.
As we reported, Quriyat, Oman, posted the world's hottest low temperature ever recorded on June 28: 109 degrees (42.6 Celsius).
These various records add to a growing list of heat milestones set over the past 15 months that are part and parcel of a planet that is trending hotter as greenhouse gas concentrations increase because of human activity:
* In April, Pakistan posted the hottest temperature ever observed on Earth during the month of 122.4 degrees (50.2 Celsius).
* Dallas had never hit 90 degrees in November before, but it did so three times in four days in 2017.
* In late October 2017, temperatures soared to 108 degrees in Southern California, the hottest weather on record so late in the season in the entire United States.
* On Sept. 1, 2017, San Francisco hit 106 degrees, smashing its all-time hottest temperature.
* In late July 2017, Shanghai registered its highest temperature in recorded history, 105.6 degrees (40.9 Celsius).
* In mid-July, Spain posted its highest temperature recorded when Cordoba Airport (in the south) hit 116.4 degrees (46.9 Celsius).
* In July 2017, Death Valley, Calif., endured the hottest month recorded on Earth.
* In late June 2017, Ahvaz, Iran, soared to 128.7 degrees Fahrenheit (53.7 Celsius) -- that country's all-time hottest temperature.
* In late May 2017, the western town of Turbat in Pakistan hit 128.3 degrees (53.5 Celsius), tying the all-time highest temperature in that country and the world-record temperature for May, according to Masters.
The U.S. just observed its warmest 3-, 4-, and 5-year spans on record
The U.S. just had its warmest May in history, blowing past 1934 Dust Bowl record
April was Earth's 400th warmer-than-normal month in a row
Climate change consequences & other topics - Daily Briefing. United Nations. (11 July 2018)
(July 10, 2018) -- An estimated 70 deaths have been connected to the scorching temperatures and humidity that rolled over Canada's Quebec province last week, and officials say the number may rise as hospital and nursing home records are reviewed.
Most of the people who died as the region reached temperatures up to 95 degrees are elderly men and women living alone in apartments with no air conditioning, and many had chronic health conditions.
David Kaiser, a physician manager at the Montreal Regional Department of Public Health, confirmed to NPR that 34 of the deaths occurred in the city from June 29 through July 7. With few exceptions, he said, the people were over the age of 50, many between 65 to 85. About 60 percent were men and most had an underlying medical or mental health condition, Kaiser added.
He explained the death toll has continued to rise despite a return to more normal seasonal temperatures, as the public health department continues to collect data from a variety of sources. Officials plan to issue an updated report next week.
And now that the immediate crisis is over, the department will soon embark on an even deeper dive into the records of every person who died during the eight-day window, including coroner reports and medical charts, a Montreal public health spokesman told NPR.
"We do this because it's always possible that we may have missed someone who maybe didn't die of heatstroke but died due to heat-related complications ... those can be hard to tell sometimes," Kaiser said.
It is a practice that was implemented after Montreal's 2010 heat wave that left 106 people dead. In that case, authorities discovered a handful heat-related hospital deaths that had previously gone unreported, Kaiser recalled.
Paul Brunet, president of the Council for the Protection of the Sick, a patient advocacy group, called for an independent investigation into the abrupt deaths of all people who recently died in a hospital, public nursing home or a public long-term care residential facility known as a CHSLD.
"Some figures that we have had in recent years do not always correspond to reality," Paul Brunet explained in an interview with LCN on Saturday.
In a statement issued on Monday, Brunet said he plans to file a class-action lawsuit against the publicly run CHSLD network over "the marked deterioration in the care and services that are offered in these facilities" -- specifically the absence of air conditioning units in individual rooms.
A spokesman for Montreal's public health department told NPR none of the victims had died in public health care institutions.
Annick Lavoie, Executive Director of the Association of Private Convention Institutions, called Brunet's suggestion that patients are receiving inadequate care "horrific."
"The heat wave we knew hit the entire population hard. Why does Mr. Brunet really want to create the scandal where there is none?" she wrote in a statement, calling the allegations "dangerous."
"He sows suspicion with the public rather than emphasizing the hard work done by staff and volunteers," the statement said.
CTV News channel reported patients in some Montreal hospitals were in rooms without air conditioning, upsetting their families.
Kaiser told NPR that public policy changed after the 2010 heat wave. During periods of extreme heat, government-run health care facilities are required to provide an air-conditioned common area that is kept cool 24 hours a day.
Brunet argued that is not enough. Especially not while nursing home administrators work in air-conditioned offices, The Montreal Gazette reported.
"Don't tell me you don't have the money to put air conditioners in patients' rooms. These are facilities where people live, and these should be decent living conditions," Brunet said.
This happened on our Earth!!! 4-8 July 2018 Weather
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