The “extreme and long-lasting” heat wave has raised concerns among the elderly, the homeless and other particularly vulnerable people.
Authorities in the western United States and Canada have warned residents to take precautionary measures because a historic heat wave hit the area on Saturday, causing temperatures to soar and forcing local officials to open emergency cooling centers.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said that all Washington and Oregon states, as well as parts of Idaho, Wyoming and California, are under overheating warnings due to the sharp rise in temperatures over the weekend and next week.
The National Weather Service said: “This event may be one of the most extreme and longest heat waves in the history of the Northwest Inland.”
The service said that in the entire region, it is expected to set dozens of daily record high temperatures, and monthly or even historical records may drop.
Some affected areas are generally accustomed to mild weather-many residents do not have air conditioning, which raises concerns about the safety of the elderly, the homeless and others who are particularly vulnerable under extreme heat.
The hot weather made berry growers scramble to pick crops to prevent them from rotting on the vines, and fishery managers worked hard to protect the endangered sockeye salmon from overheated river water.
Stores have sold out portable air conditioners and fans, some hospitals have cancelled outdoor vaccination clinics, cities have opened cooling centers, baseball teams have cancelled or upgraded weekend games, and utility companies have prepared for possible power outages.
Officials in Multnomah County, Oregon are asking volunteers to help employees cool down the center, and Portland General Electric announced that it has about 120 staff to deal with any power outages over the weekend, although the utility company said it does not expect service interruptions .
In Seattle, Washington, local resident James Bryant (James Bryant) prepared for the hot weather and picked up an air conditioner. Most homes in this city do not have air conditioning. “My house is already very hot, so it will get hotter and hotter in the next few days-I have children, and I have to make sure they are not too hot,” Bryant said.
North of the border, the Canadian government also release High temperature warnings for British Columbia, Alberta, and parts of the western provinces of Saskatchewan, as well as the Yukon and Northwest Territories.
“I like to break records, but it’s like smashing and smashing them,” said David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada. tell The local news media CTV News. “Parts of western Canada are warmer than Dubai.”
Official data show that after the heat wave earlier this month, US West 88% Climate change makes droughts worse. The water level of the lake is at a historically low level and water use in the area is restricted.
Western Australia is expected to experience record high temperatures next week. We are increasing the capacity of many cooling centers by removing restrictions on the number of people who can enter these locations. This is a temporary solution to the health effects of heat waves.https://t.co/R2L9sKpKPv
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) June 25, 2021
Experts told Al Jazeera that the drought caused by climate change is drying out the reservoir and causing the wildfire season to advance.
“The southwestern United States is experiencing a prolonged period of drought, or a severe drought. This is a period of drought that we have never seen in the observation records of the past few thousand years. John Abazoglu says, Associate professor of climate and weather at the University of California.
Kristie Ebi, a professor at the University of Washington who studies global warming and its impact on public health, said that as climate change reshapes global weather patterns, the expanded “hot dome” is a future attempt in the Pacific Northwest.
“We know from evidence from around the world that climate change is increasing the frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves. We will have to adapt to this situation,” she told the Associated Press.