As climate change is becoming undeniable despite nay sayers, another heat wave hit the nation. On Friday, the temperature at Death Valley National Park in California stood at a blistering 130 degrees Fahrenheit. This record-breaking temperature is only four degrees less than the all-time high of 134 which was set in 1913, more than a century ago. Temperatures along the West Coast are expected to reach up to 117 degrees as wildfires rage across the state, as a result of the extreme heat.
Two weeks ago, a heat dome had occurred from June 26 to July 1. It was responsible for the deaths of 78 people in Washington and 116 people in Oregon as temperatures crossed 95 degrees. Some regions in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest had reached up to 115 degrees.
National Weather Service’s Forecaster Sarah Rogowski predicts that the heatwave this weekend is bound to be hotter especially in Central California. Temperatures could be about 10 to 15 degrees more than average in parts of the state. The low would be in the high eighties, which used to be the normal high in late summer in certain parts of the state.
On Friday, residences and campgrounds around Frenchman Lake were evacuated. An almost 200-square mile area was cordoned off due to the wildfires that were spreading as they were fueled by the high temperatures.
Brian Ferguson, the deputy director of crisis communication, California Office of Emergency Services said that they believed that the state was very clearly experiencing the impacts of a changing environment. He added that the state has seen droughts that they had never seen before and that it was a cascading effect but it really all came “back to climate.”
Ferguson added that his office was competing with Mother Nature and that they were throwing everything they had at the current challenges to keep vulnerable residents safe.
This weekend, the Office of Emergency Services is providing cooling centers throughout the state. This will be a boon to those who don’t have air conditioning in their homes.