Monday, June 19, 2017

Escaping the Southwest Heat

Residents of the Puget Sound region can breath a sigh of relief that they are not living farther south, since an heat wave is now frying the southwest U.S.  As shown below, high temperatures east of the California coast were generally above 100F today, with the area stretching from Palm Springs to Las Vegas soaring about 110F.  Needles, California rose to 123F.  None of these are all-time records, but several daily records have fallen.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, the temperatures aloft (say at 5000 ft)are quite warm over the entire region, but the influx of cool air and considerable low clouds kept it cool over NW Washington (mid to upper 60s).  Middle 70s over the south Sound, but near 90F in Portland.   Cross the Cascades to escape the marine influence and 90s are the rule in the Columbia Basin.

The cause of the SW heat?  A upper level ridge of high pressure that brings sinking air aloft (and sinking causes compressional heating)--see 500 hPa (around 18,000 ft) weather map for 5 AM this morning.

A weak cold front will move through western WA tomorrow, bringing clouds and some light showers...temps only getting up into the mid-60s in western WA.   If you want to escape the cool, moist weather, you might head down to Palm Springs, where it will be a sizzling 121F tomorrow and around 115F for the rest of the week (see forecast below).


John said...

The monsoon season in Arizona is only 2-3 weeks away.The zero degree dew points in Phoenix a few days ago will be replaced by 50 degree or greater ones soon.

John Marshall said...

It's why choose to live here in W WA. Marine a/c.

Tradeoff is June Gloom which has been pronounced this year. But a good trade. Very good.

John Marshall said...

It's why choose to live here in W WA. Marine a/c.

Tradeoff is June Gloom which has been pronounced this year. But a good trade. Very good.

Bryan Black said...

I remember longing for the heat when it was below freezing for what felt like about half the winter down here in Oregon. Now as we get into what will likely be a fairly hot summer I will long for the cold and snowy days again. El NiƱo being weaker than previously thought might make for a solitary cold snap but we will see...probly warmer and drier this next winter regardless.

Charles Nathaniel Erwin said...

On the third day of my vacation in Las Vegas. I come down here in the summer for the hiking in the Mount Charleston area an hour north of Las Vegas. When its 115 in Vegas, its 80 at the trail heads around 8000 ft and more like 75 at the top of the trails. Add to that a walk in a beautiful Bristlecone Pine Forest and its my favorite summer destination. Fly to the heat to escape the heat.

Alex said...

64F in Redmond right now. That's 50% of Phoenix. I prefer not living inside an oven.

jsowers1 said...

Cliff, I love your blog(thank you), but I don't think correcting climate exaggerators is the best or most strategic use of your considerable abilities, at least if persuading society to take the issue seriously and take strong mitigating and adaptation action is you primary goal. Whatever the actual timeline of climate change, it's coming, and we need to convert to a clean energy economy as soon as possible to limit the impacts as much as possible. There is no risk here of taking too much action. Ignore the exaggerators, or send them a back channel email if you must, but please consider contributing most of your thought and energy into advocating for real solutions.

For instance, what are your thoughts about pumped storage in order to store wind, solar, and hydro energy to be used later when needed? From what I have read about what they are doing in Switzerland and Spain, I think large scale pumped storage may well be an important and necessary piece of the clean energy mix in our region in the near future.

John Marshall said...

The NYT published an article today on the SW heat where every other sentence mentions climate change. What they didn't say is that this kind of hot weather has affected aircraft forever in the SW, cancelling flights of certain kinds of aircraft. In this case, it's mainly the CRJ regional jets that have a lower than usual maximum rated operating temperature.

Then the article goes on to talk about related issues where climate change might affect aviation more adversely, jet streams, etc., all of which are current problems with extreme weather, and have been as long as there have been high-flying airliners.

The essence is to try and make the effects of climate change into a "Now" issue instead of a "Coming" issue. They assume a static aircraft design, yet they assume a rapidly changing climate. I don't think we're going to be flying around in CRJ jets and their ilk half a century from now.