“Heatdome”: People in the USA are exposed to extreme weather phenomena

“Heatdome”: People in the USA are exposed to extreme weather phenomena
Photo: Rick Bowmer/AP

Parts of the US are currently experiencing extreme heat. Temperatures of up to 50 degrees could even be reached in the next few days. A rare weather phenomenon is responsible for this.

A heat wave is currently rolling towards the Southwest of the USA. According to the German Press Agency, weather experts in the city of Phoenix in Arizona fear temperatures of almost 50 degrees. It can get up to 44 degrees during the week in parts of the Los Angeles area. Expect temperatures of 37 degrees in other parts – including California, Nevada and New Mexico. A total of 50 million people are exposed to the extreme temperatures.

As the AFP news agency reports, the National Weather Service (NWS) holds a so-called “heatdom” – a heat dome – responsible for the extreme temperatures.

Heat the “deadliest weather phenomenon”

According to AFP, the weather service called for outdoor activities to be canceled between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The service also emphasized that “heat is the deadliest weather phenomenon” in the United States and heat affects any person who does not have air conditioning or an adequate water supply. The weather service of the city of Reno in Nevada appealed to the population via Twitter to take care of vulnerable groups – i.e. pregnant women, newborns, children, the elderly and people with a chronic illness.

“Heatdome”: This triggers the heat dome

The weather phenomenon that is responsible for the current temperatures in the USA is called “heatdome”. According to the National Ocean Service, this dome is formed by a high pressure area. This would normally move, explains the Royal Meteorological Society. But when the jet stream – high-altitude winds – is weak, this movement is prevented. The high pressure area traps oppressive heat below it, creating a kind of dome. in it, hot air cannot rise as usual. As a result, there are no clouds that would reduce the solar radiation on the earth.

As early as 2021, there were “heatdome” phenomena in parts of the USA and Canada. According to scientists, heat domes are extremely rare. In 2021, weather experts told The Washington Post that this event is only “once every few thousand years” on average. Due to man-made climate change, however, the occurrence of the phenomenon has become “more likely”.

Sources used: Twitter/NWS RenoNational Ocean Service, Royal Meteorological Society, Washington Post

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