The summer season officially begins in the west this Sunday, June 20. If you asked people in the western and southern United States right now, though, they’d probably assume it began weeks ago, because it is absolutely scorching over there, and chances are good it’s only going to get hotter.
Yesterday, Death Valley in California cracked 124 degrees Fahrenheit, making it not only the hottest singular point in the entire US, but one of the hottest spots in the entire world, and forecasts estimate that temperature is going to keep rising throughout the week. Temperatures across the United States have already been recorded to be 10 to 30 degrees higher than the yearly average; the city of Casper, Wyoming exceeded its previous record high temp of 93 degrees by a good 9 degrees, while Chula Vista, California broke its own previous record of 76 by an especially spicy 13 degrees.
Around 40 million people across the southwestern United States are currently under a heat advisory, and if the rising temperatures continue on their current curve, that number could balloon to 110 million by this time next week. Meteorologists have predicted that as many as 200 heat records could be broken by the end of this insane heat wave.
I just went for a walk, 10pm and 102° ? #Itsadryheat Phoenix hits 115°F, ties high temperature record set in 1974 https://t.co/gLM2wDE1oY
— shannon (@sjmanuelito) June 16, 2021
Speaking of meteorology, sticky pits aren’t the only concerns arising from this heat. These conditions, including low humidity and strong winds, are worryingly similar to those that caused the Californian wildfires to spread last year. Lakes and reservoirs are also evaporating at increased rates, causing droughts and shortages, not to mention an increased strain on energy production from everyone blasting their air conditioning at the same time.
If you’re living in an area that’s being subjected to a heat wave, do your best to stay indoors, in the shade, and properly hydrated. If you’ve got any elderly and otherwise vulnerable neighbors, it may be wise to check on them to ensure they haven’t fallen victim to heat stroke.