Sunday, July 30, 2017

Dangerous heat to scorch western US during first week of August

By Jordan Root, AccuWeather meteorologist
July 30,2017, 4:51:45AM,EDT
As the calendar flips from July to August, folks across the western United States will begin to face a resurgence of heat that will last through at least the first week of the month.
"Excessive heat is coming to a large area in the West next week from California and Nevada and into the interior Northwest," AccuWeather Meteorologist Ken Clark said.
A ridge in the upper-level winds is expected to build across the western U.S. and Canada this week which will allow hot air to build below it. An increased risk for heat-related dangers and wildfire ignition will accompany the warmth.
West heat 7.30 AM

"The likelihood of dangerous heat will increase across this area with temperatures Monday through Wednesday averaging 10 to 20 degrees above normal," Clark said.
Seattle is projected to reach the lower 90s F on Wednesday, with temperatures climbing even further on Thursday. Portland, Oregon, will endure multiple days in the 90s early this week before the temperature spikes into the 100s. High temperature records will be challenged in both of these cities.
At midweek, the temperature in Medford, Oregon, may come within a few degrees of their all-time record for any date of 115 set on July 20, 1946.
It is important for people to realize the dangers of this heat. Folks who plan on spending extended periods of time outside, especially during the afternoon will raise their risk for dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
The risk for heat-related illnesses can be lowered by drinking plenty of water, wearing light colored clothing, and limiting any vigorous activities to the morning or evening.
Those looking to beat the heat may want to consider heading to coastal beaches where the heat will be greatly moderated. However as is typical, the waters along most of the West Coast are too cold to enter.
In addition, swells from Hilary will make coastal waters dangerous to enter into Tuesday.
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Monsoonal moisture will mostly be confined to the Four Corners region (though Utah will be largely excluded) and the mountains of Southern California which will lead to daily showers and thunderstorms and more extensive cloud cover.
This will keep temperatures near normal or even slightly below normal in this region. Any heavy thunderstorm could lead to downpours and flash flooding.
Elsewhere across the West, isolated thunderstorms will pop up across the northern Rockies but activity will not be widespread. This will not provide much, if any, rain relief for wildfire efforts across the West.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, there are currently 49 active large wildfire incidents from central California to Montana. Wildfires are also burning across British Columbia.
British Columbia wildfires
Widespread smoke from numerous wildfires across British Columbia on July 18 can be seen on this high-resolution snapshot from a passing satellite. Wildfires continue to burn across this area and across the western U.S. Photo/NASA - Terra satellite

The increase in heat and lack of rain will only worsen the wildfire threat through the week.
"Thunderstorms outside of the Four Corners region will hold the greatest risk of lightning-induced wildfires as little to no rain will reach the ground," AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff said.
This warm pattern will continue through the week but the ridge may begin to break down next weekend which would allow some relief from the heat.

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