Heat Dome Blankets the United States, Setting Records and Causing Heat-Related Deaths

As a heat dome continues to blanket the United States, millions of people can expect to spend another sweltering summer in the South. New Zealand meteorologist Ben Noll predicted that on Wednesday, Texas would be hotter than 99 percent of the world combined.

In Texas alone, nearly 100 daily temperature records have been broken in the past two weeks. On Wednesday, a high of 115 degrees Fahrenheit was predicted for Dallas. On Wednesday, heat alerts were issued for 45 million people, and it looks like the heat will be around, at least in Texas, into the weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for Wednesday and Thursday for parts of Mississippi and Louisiana, where temperatures could reach dangerously high levels of 115 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit due to the heat index. There will be areas of Alabama where the heat index will reach 105°F to 112°F.

The tweet below verifies the news:

What is a Heat Dome?

Professor of atmospheric physics at Iowa State University, William Gallus, defined a heat dome as “persistent region of high pressure that traps heat over an area,” in an article for the Conversation.

Changes in the jet stream pattern, the band of predominantly westerly winds that round the globe, are a major factor in the persistence of heat dome events, which can last for days.

Heat-related Deaths

The Associated Press reported that 13 individuals in Texas and one person in Louisiana had died as a result of the extreme heat since triple digit temperatures arrived in Texas two weeks ago.

One of them was a Florida teen who, at age 14, became unwell and passed out while trekking in Texas’ Big Bend National Park on Friday, when temperatures reached 119 degrees Fahrenheit.

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The Guardian reported that hundreds of Texans had gone to hospitals since the heat wave began to be treated for heat-related diseases. Hundreds of people perished when a heat dome landed on the Pacific Northwest in 2021, causing temperatures there to soar to deadly levels.

A New (and worsening) Normal, Thanks to Climate Change

Heat waves have always occurred during the summer in the Northern Hemisphere because of the Earth’s inclination.

Numerous studies demonstrate that these heat events have become more common and are lasting longer as a result of global warming, which has increased average temperatures by 1.8 degrees Celsius since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

“Climate change is amplifying this and other heat events, as global average temperatures are already about two degrees F (one degree C) higher than in preindustrial times,” according to Scientific American magazine.

“With the planet still warming as humans continue to burn fossil fuels that release heat-trapping greenhouse gases, heat waves will continue to happen more often, last longer and reach higher temperatures, in part because of more extreme heat waves, an unusually hot summer in the past is now considered average.”

The present heat dome over Mexico and the Southern United States is five times more likely to have occurred due to climate change, according to a research by Climate Central, a coalition of scientists and journalists.

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