Intensified Heat Dome In US Increases Temperature, Fuelling Heat Wave

by | Jun 19, 2024 | Climate Crisis, Environmental News

Home » Environmental News » Intensified Heat Dome In US Increases Temperature, Fuelling Heat Wave

More than 75 million people across the United States are under extreme heat alerts. This is the case, particularly in the Midwest and East Coast, even before the official start of summer. Residents are facing temperatures that are set to exceed 37.8 degrees Celsius. All this is driven by a phenomenon known as a heat dome in the US.

heat dome in US

What is a Heat Dome?

First of all, let’s understand what head dome actually means. It occurs when a high-pressure area forms in the atmosphere. It traps hot air beneath it, just like a lid on a pot. This pressure forces air down into a hotter, dome-shaped mass.

This prevents the milder weather systems from passing through, resulting in a prolonged period of extremely high temperatures, which lead to heat waves. Due to this phenomenon, the National Weather Service has predicted temperatures 11-16.5C higher than normal for June.

The Impact of Heat Domes and Heatwaves

Heat domes have become more frequent in the US. They are present, especially in the south and west regions, which are already susceptible to high temperatures. Although they have been recorded for decades, the term “heat dome” gained popularity only in recent years.

In March 2022, it officially entered the American Meteorological Society’s glossary. The frequency and intensity of heat waves have significantly increased. In major US cities, the number of heatwave instances has tripled.

It has increased from two per year in the 1960s to six per year since the 2010s. The Environmental Protection Agency revealed this in their recent report. These heatwaves are more common, last longer, and are more severe.

Beyond the US, heat domes have caused extreme heat in other countries. In Mexico, a heatwave last month resulted in at least 22 deaths. Moreover, wildlife has also suffered from suspected dehydration. In France, a heat dome in August 2023 led to the hottest late summer days since 1947.

Duration and Forecast

Heat domes can last from several days to a few weeks. The National Weather Service has issued heat advisories until 8 pm EDT on June 20. The temperatures are expected to ease gradually.

However, they will remain above normal levels the following week. The duration of a heat dome depends on the strength of the high-pressure system that creates it. Cities like Chicago, Wisconsin, and Indiana are at high risk of long-duration extreme heat.

Overall, we can say that the entire USA has been struggling with extreme heat waves. The main reason behind the rising temperatures seems to be the heat dome in the US. Now, it’ll be worth watching when the temperature will come back to normal.

Also Read: Heavy Rains In Central America Kills 11: Reports

Author

  • Sarah Tancredi

    Sarah Tancredi is an experienced journalist and news reporter specializing in environmental and climate crisis issues. With a deep passion for the planet and a commitment to raising awareness about pressing environmental challenges, Sarah has dedicated her career to informing the public and promoting sustainable solutions. She strives to inspire individuals, communities, and policymakers to take action to safeguard our planet for future generations.

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