National Weather Forecast
On Wednesday, a frontal boundary snaking from the Northeast to the Northern Plains will help produce at least scattered showers and thunderstorms. Another frontal boundary across the Southeast and Gulf Coast with an area of low pressure attached will produce storms there as well. Monsoonal storms will be possible in the Four Corners region.
The heaviest rain the next few days will be along the Gulf Coast and in the Southeast, where some 1-3” tallies will be possible.
Extreme heat bakes Northwest and northern Rockies amid high fire danger
More from the Washington Post: “For the fourth time in the past month and a half, a strong heat wave is roasting parts of the western U.S., as wildfires run amok. High-temperature records could fall in parts of the northern Rockies on Monday, where the most exceptional lobe of warmth is concentrated. There are signs that the seemingly unrelenting heat that has proved a staple of summer 2021 won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, with prolonged hot, dry conditions likely for weeks over large areas of the western Lower 48. The heat is contributing to increased wildfire danger as dozens of blazes rage across 12 states in the West, including in south-central Oregon, where the Bootleg Fire already has charred more than 300,000 aces. Six additional wildfires have already swollen to 50,000 acres in size or larger — and roughly two months remain until the peak of wildfire season.”
Today’s Wildfires Are Taking Us into Uncharted Territory
More from Scientific American: “When smoke from blazing forests in the West tinted skies ochre across much of the U.S. last year, we asked, “How much worse can fire seasons get?” Fire paleoecologist Philip Higuera has spent his career trying to determine the answer by looking at history. “If we’re all wondering what happens when our forests warm up,” he says, “let’s see what happened in the past when they warmed up.” The central Rocky Mountains’ subalpine forests grow in cool, wet conditions and burn less readily than their lowland counterparts. To find how frequently these tough woodlands still caught fire through the ages, Higuera and his colleagues combined records from modern satellite-observed fires, fire scars in tree rings from the 1600s onward and flecks of charcoal that settled in lakes over thousands of years. The study found that from 2010 to 2020, the forests burned 22 percent faster than they did during an unusual warming period that started in A.D. 770 and saw the area’s highest temperatures before the 21st century. Most of this burn rate increase was caused by the 2020 fire season alone. And 72 percent of the total area burned between 1986 and 2020 resulted from fires in just the latter year.”
uOttawa study first to investigate newly introduced butterfly, which could become widespread in Canada
More from the University of Ottawa: “This summer, if you see a butterfly with wings that are blue on top with orange spots underneath, you may have crossed paths with a male European Common Blue (or Polyommatus icarus), a newly introduced species in Canada. Could it be a fluke? Probably not, according to a group of researchers from the University of Ottawa who have taken a close look at this captivating blue creature. They are in fact the first to study its ecology. “The results of our study suggest that the Polyommatus icarus (P. icarus) could become widespread in the future since it prefers urban areas,” said uOttawa PhD student Stephanie Rivest, who is the first author of the article “Anthropogenic disturbance promotes the abundance of a newly introduced butterfly, the European common blue (Polyommatus icarus; Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae), in Canada” published in the Canadian Journal of Zoology.”
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– D.J. Kayser