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article imageWestern states bake in 'life-threatening' heat wave this weekend

By Karen Graham     Sep 5, 2020 in Environment
Fifty million people in Nevada, California, Oregon and Arizona are under excessive, life-threatening heat watches or warnings through the Labor Day weekend as temperatures of up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit (49 Celsius) are expected.
The National Weather Service (NWS) describes the heat wave as carrying “rare, dangerous and very possibly fatal” temperatures across Southern California for the holiday weekend. “There is a high risk for heat illness along with heightened fire weather concerns,” the NWS Los Angeles office reported, forecasting record high temperatures on Saturday and Sunday.
This is the second heat wave in two weeks to hit the West Coast. On August 16, one of the highest temperatures ever recorded in human history occurred in Death Valley, California when the temperature reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit,
The intense heat and accompanying lightning storm sparked more than 900 wildfires in California, including the second and third largest fires in state history - and they are still burning, reports Gizmodo-Earther.
The culprit in this heat wave is a hot air mass sitting atop the state. Coupled with a weak offshore flow of winds, this will delay or eliminate the cooling sea breeze. This hot air mass will not only create new heat records in California, but temperatures in Phoenix and Las Vegas are expected to reach as high as 113 degrees
Because of the dangers involved with this extreme heat, local officials are warning of the risks of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and recommend calling 911 if you or someone you know has a throbbing headache; no sweating; a red, hot or dry skin; rapid, strong pulse; nausea and vomiting or any loss of consciousness, reports Forbes.
California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency, a proclamation that allows power plants to operate beyond normal limits throughout the three-day holiday weekend. California State Parks also issued a heat warning.
Climate scientists blame human activities for a rise in average temperatures in California since the early 20th Century and say extreme wet-dry cycles are creating parched vegetation to supercharge wildfires. Actually, the world is getting hotter, drier, and more flammable.
The planet has seen extreme heat wave around the world, causing brutal and very large wildfires in Siberia, Spain, France, Australia and a number of other countries.
More about punishing heat wave, western states, California, rolling blackouts, Wildfires
 
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