An historic heat wave that has helped create tinderbox conditions in Colorado and other Western states moved east last week, with record-breaking temperatures from Oklahoma to Ohio, reports Andrew Freedman. Previous to that week, over 1,700 warm temperature records had been tied or set across the U.S., compared to 401 cool temperature records during the same period. The heat in the West has helped fuel the devastating wildfires in Colorado, including the record-breaking destructive Waldo Canyon Fire. The heat is prompting concerns about the US midwest corn crop, which is particularly sensitive to dry and hot conditions at this time of year. The National Weather Service described the heat as “debilitating,” warning millions of Americans affected to take precautions against heat-related illness. According to a recent study, if climate was not warming, the number of daily record-high tempertures and record-low temperatures would be expected to be equal. But in a long-term trend that demonstrates the effects of a warming climate, daily record-highs have recently been outpacing daily record-lows by an average of 2-to-1. This imbalance is expected to grow as the climate continues to warm.
Massive ‘debilitating’ heat wave expands eastward. An historic heat wave that has helped create tinderbox conditions in Colorado and other western states is moving east, with record-breaking temperatures expected in at least 13 states, from Oklahoma to Ohio. Climate Central http://www.climatecentral.org/news/debilitating-heat-wave-expands-eastward/