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The Southwest is in the grip of a scorching heat wave.

As temperatures soared in Las Vegas Friday, 200 people were treated for heat problems at an outdoor concert, Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa said.

Thirty of them were hospitalized for heat-related injuries at Vans Warped Tour at Silverton Casino as temps reached 115.

It was expected to get even hotter in Las Vegas over the weekend.

The heat was so punishing that rangers took up positions at trailheads at Lake Mead in Nevada to persuade people not to hike. Zookeepers in Phoenix hosed down the elephants and fed tigers frozen fish snacks.

Elephants and tigers are hot weather animals, aren't they?
Temperatures are also expected to soar across Utah and into Wyoming and Idaho, with triple-digit heat forecast for the Boise area. Cities in Washington state that are better known for cool, rainy weather should break the 90s next week.

...said weather service meteorologist Mark O'Malley. "It's going to be baking hot across much of the entire West."

The heat is the result of a high-pressure system brought on by a shift in the jet stream, the high-altitude air current that dictates weather patterns. The jet stream has been more erratic in the past few years.

Health officials warned people to be extremely careful when venturing outdoors. The risks include not only dehydration and heat stroke but burns from the concrete and asphalt. Dogs can suffer burns and blisters on their paws by walking on hot pavement.

Officials said personnel were added to the Border Patrol's search-and-rescue unit because of the danger to people trying to slip across the Mexican border. At least seven people have been found dead in the last week in Arizona after falling victim to the brutal desert heat.
But this may be the most telling sign of the new normal:
AMARILLO, TEXAS -- On Sunday, the heat was even the worst enemy for a few airline customers.

Extreme temperatures were the root cause for the cancellation of a few flights out of Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.

We had three flights cancelled yesterday because of the weather conditions, the temperature conditions primarily. Two American and one Continental", says Director of Aviation at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, Pat Rhodes.

If it gets too hot, some aircraft aren't able to function at their normal level... and that's exactly what these airlines were trying to prevent yesterday.

"Because it was so hot and the elevation of this airport, the airplanes could get to a point on take off role where they, if something happened at that point they could not stop on the remaining runway and they could not fly. So it's just a position where they could get obviously unsafe", continues Rhodes.

Now travellers will have to factor in heat waves to their travel plans along with blizzards, thunderstorms and fog. Kind of ironic considering the carbon footprint of air travel.

Originally posted to Heavy Mettle on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 08:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by Gulf Watchers Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The new normal is, there is no normal (17+ / 0-)

    This year, historic heat, maybe next year, cold flooding, it's all a roll of the dice now.

  •  Heat stretches all the way to the Canadian border (11+ / 0-)

    108 in Orofino, Idaho by Tuesday. 101 for Monday high in Spokane, Washington. East Texas going to be bathed in 100 degree highs for much of next week.

    Where the drought and extreme heat overlap worry me as wildfire hazards...

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

    by rovertheoctopus on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 09:05:09 AM PDT

  •  This is just the beginning (11+ / 0-)

    The term "built-in" is used to describe global climate change if we don't add any additional CO2 at this point. We are currently at 400 ppm of CO2, relative to pre-industrial 280 ppm. During the day solar energy reaches the Earth in the form of mostly visible light. Some of it is reflected, some of it is absorbed. The amount absorbed is the net heat gain during the day. At night the Earth lights up in the infra-red spectrum. This is energy being radiated into space. Empty space is our radiator. When energy gained is equal to energy radiated then the Earth's climate is in balance and overall average temperatures will be stable. The planet is not currently in balance. Due to the greenhouse effect of additional CO2 and Methane and other contributors, the Earth gains more energy per square meter than it radiates. We are out of balance. The amount of heat energy radiated is a function of the temperature of the surface of the planet. As the average temperature increases, more energy will be radiated. The Earth would eventually reach balance at a much higher average temperature if we were to stop the increase of green house gases. How much is the built-in temperature increase? Estimates vary all over the place and existing models have tended to be too conservative. We have exceeded the worst case IPPC models to date. I like to use the number 4 degrees C or 7 degrees F. But that is just based on looking at a wide variety of estimates. Here's the point, 7 degrees F is a game changer for the climate. It drastically changes habitats, causes severe droughts, severe weather and significant sea level rise. Add to this the very significant fact that we are adding CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere at an increasing rate. For you math oriented folks, the second derivative of CO2 concentration is positive. This is really, really bad. We are out of time and this problem can only be addressed with a massive world-wide program to move to sustainability as soon as possible. Everthing else is insignificant.

    •  Our climate is currently frantically adjusting to (7+ / 0-)

      ...0.6 degrees of warming since the mid-20th century. The system is overwhelmed and we're already getting some of these consequences. What is the sensitivity to 0.7 degrees of warming? Or 0.8? Or 0.9? The Arctic sea ice is already so sensitive to 0.6 degrees of warming, that it's expected by some scientists to have an ice-free summer within a decade.

      I intend to write a diary very soon about the oceanic oscillations and what a PDO that moves into the warm phase (after about 15 years, a timeline discussed in Meehl et al., 2013), but basically, next time we have El Niño: look out.

      "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

      by rovertheoctopus on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 09:41:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Elephants and tigers (6+ / 0-)

    Both make use of pools and rivers to cool off in the hottest weather so hosing them down is quite sensible - more sensible would be to provide appropriate facilities in their enclosures.

    Tigers may come from "hot" countries but those stripes are so they are difficult to see in jungle type conditions. The jungle floor is very well shaded generally and they areas they are restricted to tend to be a high altitude so they do need that fur. (Incidentally, the most tigers in the world are found in  ...  Texas)

    Elephants have a far wider range and you can see how the two species have evolved to cope with different conditions. The African elephant has far larger cooling radiators than the Asian (the ears!)

    We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 09:26:52 AM PDT

  •  My weather station yesterday here in Phoenix (5+ / 0-)

    registered a peak of 119.4F yesterday afternoon. Air conditioner could not keep up starting early afternoon and indoor temperature rose to 5 deg above 78F setpoint. Solar produced just shy of 40 kWh but we probably used an additional 70 kWh from the utility. Of course it is a dry heat. LOL! Similar heat on tap for today.

    Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

    by Ian S on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:08:49 AM PDT

    •  AC or swamp cooler?? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heavy Mettle, Mary Mike, BlackSheep1

      Of course, in 120F, the latter wouldn't help much either.

      I worry about my ex-home Albuquerque, where heat + thinner air at ~1 mile altitude always made summer takeoffs at the airport a white-knuckle experience.

      Haven't seen predictions for extreme temps that far east, but they're in the midst of that furious drought, so it won't be cool.

      Anyone out there (happyinnm et al.) know?

      (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 11.3 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

      by argomd on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:56:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's hotter than proverbial hell (6+ / 0-)

    here in the central valley of California.  While we are used to heat in August, we're having intense heat earlier in the year, which is a concern.  I've lived here almost 60 years and this is shaping up to be one of the most oppressive summers I've experienced here.  The next several days are going to be continued unpleasant.  They have (wisely) cancelled some outdoor events here.  With temperatures this high, our air quality is badly degraded also.  Honestly, it eludes me how some can still be so deeply entrenched in denial but then, heck, it also eludes me how so many can still support political policies that deprive citizens of equality.  There is a great deal I simply do not understand about people.

    You are my brother, my sister.

    by RoCali on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:21:01 AM PDT

    •  Uh oh. My Alaskan born, heat intolerant (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heavy Mettle, RoCali

      kid moved to Fresno (Clovis) in late May. Last she talked to her grandma, pool is cool and quiet enough to swim at 4 AM. Their temps are 104 to 112 this week, which I think is 'normal' for them. West metro Denver is forecast 85 to 77. Maybe rain tomorrow. Cuz I'm moving.... (Murphy loves me.)

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 12:11:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Approaching highest temp ever (4+ / 0-)
    Dan Kail was vacationing in Las Vegas when he heard that the temperature at Death Valley could approach 130 degrees this weekend. He didn't hesitate to make a trip to the desert location that is typically the hottest place on the planet.
    Death Valley's record high of 134 degrees, set a century ago, stands as the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:47:09 AM PDT

  •  But.. but,.., no choochoos! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heavy Mettle, chimene

    Only effete Europhiles want to ride a choochoo!

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