National Weather Forecast
On Thursday, an area of low pressure in the Southeast will produce the potential of heavy rainfall. A front moving into the upper Midwest will produce storms, some of which could be strong. Otherwise, the big story will continue to be the heat threat out west.
The heaviest rain through Friday evening will be in the Southeast, where some areas of Florida and Georgia could see 3”+ of rain. Rain will start to be possible in the Southwest on Friday, with heavier rain falling through the weekend (more on that below).
Historic Heat Wave Continues In The West With Extreme Fire Danger – Tropics Update
- A dangerous, long-duration heat wave continues to impact the Western United States this week. At least ten all-time record highs were set Tuesday in California.
- Numerous daily record high and record warm low temperatures, as well as potentially more all-time and monthly record highs, are expected to continue through the end of the week with highs in the 90s and 100s.
- This heat will continue to put a strain on human health and the power grid.
- An extreme fire danger is in place today across portions of Montana, and there is a widespread fire weather threat across the Northwest today. This is due to strong winds, low humidity, and the potential of dry thunderstorms.
- By the end of the week, moisture sent northward from Hurricane Kay is expected to flow into southern California, bringing a heavy rain and flood threat. Note that a hurricane is NOT going to hit California, nor is the low-pressure center associated with Kay in any form – it is the moisture streaming northward that will impact the region.
- We are also tracking Tropical Storm Fourteen in the west Pacific.
All-Time Record Highs. It was a scorching hot Tuesday across portions of California, with at least ten all-time record highs set during the afternoon hours including 117° in Ukiah and 116° in downtown Sacramento. Meanwhile, many more locations saw September record high temperatures, including in Death Valley which tied their September record high of 125° previously set on September 5, 2020.
Excessive Heat Continues. While for some yesterday will have been the peak of the heat in the western United States, we will continue to see widespread excessive heat concerns over the next several days. Excessive Heat Warnings are in place through today for Phoenix, through Thursday for Las Vegas, and through Friday for Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento. Denver, Salt Lake City, Billings, and Boise are under a Heat Advisory today. Remember that heat is the number one killer in the United States, with an average of 138 killed per year between 1990-2019.
Forecast Highs Next Few Days. Highs in the 90s and 100s will continue through the week across the region, with widespread record highs expected. This hot airmass won’t allow temperatures to fall much through the overnight hours (only into the 70s or low 80s in many locations), which means the body isn’t allowed to recover from the hot daytime temperatures. This extended stretch of heat, including warm overnight lows, could lead to a higher potential of heat illness.
Heat Risk For Today. A newer product from the National Weather Service called HeatRisk was created to show a quick look at where there is an elevated heat concern over the next seven days. We continue to have a high to very high heat risk across portions of the Southwest as we head through the day. This is expected to continue for much of the week across the region, especially in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, and will continue to have major impacts on human health and potentially the power grid.
California Power Grid. Yesterday an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) 3 was issued for the evening hours as the power grid hit a new record load demand of 52,061 megawatts and California ISO urged power customers to cut back on energy usage to help prevent power outages. A Flex Alert has once again been issued for later today between 4-9 PM, and with an expected high electricity demand do not be surprised to see this elevated later today to one of the Energy Emergency Alert levels.
Extreme Fire Danger. In the Northwest, we are tracking a Critical to Extreme fire danger threat today as the pattern starts to change with a system coming in. Ahead of that system, strong winds and very warm temperatures, along with low humidity, will support extreme fire behavior with any active or new wildfires. These atmospheric conditions will also lead to the potential of “dry thunderstorms” (storms that contain lightning but no rainfall) that’ll be able to set off new fires and have their own strong winds associated with them.
Fire Weather And Wind Alerts. Widespread Red Flag Warnings (meaning fire weather conditions will be in place) are spread across the Northwest as we head through today, with Fire Weather Watches surrounding them for later in the week (and in the Seattle area late week into the weekend). High Wind Warnings are also in place for the Rocky Mountain Front from 9 AM to Midnight today for wind gusts up to 65 mph.
Tropical Update. We are currently tracking three named system between the Atlantic and eastern Pacific:
- Hurricane Danielle: Not really a concern to land over the next five or so days. Currently a hurricane but is expected to become post-tropical Thursday. What is left of the system could impact parts of Europe next week.
- Hurricane Earl: This system will continue to move off to the north and north-northeast over the next few days, becoming a major hurricane late Thursday or Friday. This system will make a close approach to Bermuda late this week where a Tropical Storm Warning is in place.
- Hurricane Kay: This system will approach and move up Baja California as we head through the rest of the week before curving westward. While moisture will stream northward into portions of the Southwest, this system will NOT directly impact/make landfall in California.
Southern California Heavy Rain. With moisture surging northward late this week into the weekend, heavier rain can be expected across the region with rainfall amounts through the weekend of 1-4” possible in some locations. While these areas need rainfall, it’s going to be the case we’ve seen several times across parts of the country this summer of too much rain in a short amount of time, and the flood threat will be there Friday and likely continue into the weekend.
Fourteen In The West Pacific. Out in the western Pacific we are tracking Tropical Storm Fourteen, which will continue to remain over water through the next several days. We will keep an eye on whether this system will have any impact as a typhoon next week in areas such as Taipei and Seoul.
D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, Praedictix
California move to ban new gas-powered cars puts Walz’s rules in limbo
More from MinnPost: “Gov. Tim Walz spent a lot of political capital to adopt tougher new vehicle emission standards in Minnesota. In his first year in office in 2019, Walz announced Minnesota would follow California in requiring automakers to provide more electric vehicles for sale in Minnesota. Republicans have repeatedly bashed the decision to act unilaterally and, in their view, force EVs on uninterested drivers. It all came to a head last year, when Walz’s commissioner leading the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency resigned rather than get fired by the Republican-led Senate. After all that, the regulations could now be short-lived — lasting just one year — because of a new move by California. California has unique power to write its own emission rules, and other states can either follow California or adopt the federal regulations, which are less stringent. So what happens when California decides, as it announced last month, to dramatically change its rules by opting to ban the sale of most new gas-powered cars by 2035? States like Washington and Massachusetts have said, “We’re in.” Not Minnesota – at least not yet.”
This Hot Summer Is One of the Coolest of the Rest of Our Lives
More from Scientific American: “Extreme heat has been a constant in the news this past summer: In July a punishing heat wave in Europe pushed temperatures across parts of the U.K. above 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) for the first time in history. That same month was viciously hot across China, including in Shanghai—home to 26 million people—which tied its highest-ever July reading of 105.6 degrees F (40.9 degrees C). And even before the summer officially began, searing heat settled over the U.S. South in May. Amarillo, Tex., recorded its earliest day with temperatures topping 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C), and Abilene, Tex., endured 14 straight days of 100 degrees F or higher, doubling its previous streak. Those were just a few of the events that contributed to the Northern Hemisphere’s land areas experiencing their second-warmest June and third-warmest July on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But temperatures that make big news today may seem ho-hum—even relatively cool—within a couple of decades, as the continued burning of fossil fuels pushes baseline temperatures ever higher.”
How Drought and War Are Really Affecting the Global Food Supply
More from WIRED: “THE IMAGES ARE apocalyptic. Pleasure boats marooned in dried-up European rivers. Norwegian reservoirs too low to drive hydropower. China’s largest inland lake turned to a prairie as its water evaporates away. And so are the warnings. The National Drought Group of the UK predicts that yields of some vegetable crops—carrots, onion, and potatoes—could be cut in half. The European Drought Observatory says that almost half of the bloc is drier than it has been since the Renaissance. China’s agricultural ministry has urged farmers to undertake emergency switches to different crops following a historic heatwave. With fall harvests coming, it’s natural to be concerned about global food supplies. But people who track the production and trade of major crops say the world is not in an emergency—yet.”
– D.J. Kayser