The meteorological services had been warning for several days against the arrival of a dangerous heat wave. They are not misunderstood. A new manifestation of the major impact of global warming in North America, the northwestern Pacific region, with a generally temperate climate, covered the oppressive “hot dome” on Monday, June 28th. Sunday’s temperature in Seattle, Washington, broke historic records: 40 ° C at the airport, the same extreme as in Portland, Oregon: 44.4 ° C at the airport, the previous record was 41.6 ° C, reaching July 1965 and August 1981.
The National Weather Service heat officially advises employees not to go outside for the third day in a row. The “hot dome” also surpassed the national record for high pressure blocking the hot air that settled in British Columbia, Canada: it was 46.6 was C, 260 km northwest of Vancouver in Lyon. Canada’s national temperature record was 45 C on July 5, 1937 in Saskatchewan.
In the northwestern United States, 13 million people are unprepared for such high temperatures but are affected by the heat wave. Air-conditioning is rare there: the share of air-conditioned homes (44%) has increased by 13 points in four years, but Seattle is the least equipped of the major American cities. Hotels with refrigerated rooms were stormed. The city invited residents to seek refuge in public libraries.
High temperatures at night
In Oregon, Kovid-19 restrictions were lifted to limit attendance at shopping malls, swimming pools and movie theaters. Roads cut, cracked asphalt. Portland Streetcar service was disrupted after electric cables were found to have melted in the heat.
Public health officials are concerned that nighttime temperatures may remain high because they prevent the body from recovering, especially in the elderly, who are more vulnerable. While cherries in Washington State, famous all over the country, are at the peak of their harvest of 4,500 tons per day, the condition of the farm workers who are sometimes housed in tents is worrying. “The pressure is on to pick them up as soon as possible.”, Inform United Farm Workers, Which calls for federal legislation to suspend work amid intense heat waves.
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