Friday, June 16, 2017

Southwest U.S. Deserts Are Hot, But This Will Be Ridiculous

Let's hope the air conditioning works well at the Furnace Creek
Inn in Death Valley, California as temperatures there early
next week are forecast to soar to the mid and upper 120s. Yikes!
For many, many reasons, I will not travel to visit the fine community of Bullhead City, Arizona early next week.

The principal reason is the forecast high temperature there is expected to be 122 degrees. Ouch!

Could be worse. As of this morning the forecast for Furnace Creek, California in Death Valley for next Monday is 127 degrees.

It will get "colder" there Tuesday through Thursday, when the forecast highs are only 126 degrees.

Northern Hemisphere deserts are hot in June, of course, but even by the standards of southern California and Arizona, this is going to be ridiculous.

This might end up being a heat wave for the record books in the Southwest.

As The Weather Channel points out, Phoenix might approach its all time record high of 122 degrees early next week.

Tucson, Arizona has only been up to 114 or more eight times since around 1900. They might get a few days next week to add to the total.

Of course, all this is a dry heat, but still wicked, horribly hot.

If you're going to get an extreme heat wave in the desert Southwest, it would be in the middle of June. The sun is at its maximum angle of the year to bake the Earth's surface in the Northern Hemisphere.

Also, the seasonal monsoons, which draw moisture into the Southwest from the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean, don't usually start until July. That moisture usually tamps the heat down.

When it's dry, the temperature can really soar until clear skies.

How dry is it out there? Yesterday, the relative humidity in Tucson was 1 percent. For comparison's sake, here in Vermont, Wednesday was delightfully dry and free of humidity, and even so, the relative humidity was around 30 percent.

The extreme heat will extend early next week up into central California and into Utah, so it is going to be pretty widespread.

By the way, all this heat is extending up into the Sierra Nevada mountains, where there's still a lot of snow left from a very stormy winter.

This snow will melt very fast in this weather, so there might be some flood problems in rivers that come off the mountains.

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