Nasa tracks soaring temperatures amid reports of another heat wave in US, Canada

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Two Nasa instruments have tracked the record-shattering temperatures in the Pacific Northwest and US Southwest amid reports of another heat wave developing this weekend which is set to bake western US and Canada. Nasa’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) aboard the Aqua satellite captured the progression of the heat dome during an unprecedented heat wave across the southwestern US from July 1 to July 12.

In the seven-second clip shared by Nasa, the animation shows surface air temperature anomalies. The hottest areas, which experienced surface air temperatures of more than 5.6 degrees Celsius above average, are shown in pink. Another Nasa instrument, ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS), captured ground surface temperature data over California.

The image captured by ECOSTRESS shows areas in red that surpassed 30 degrees Celsius on July 8, well above average ground surface temperatures for the area. The next day, Death Valley, a desert valley in Eastern California, recorded a high air temperature of 54.44 degrees Celsius, falling just a few degrees short of the official all-time surface air temperature record of 56.67 degrees Celsius in 1913.

Scientists have warned that the unprecedented heat wave is not possible without the impact of climate change. The recent heat wave claimed hundreds of lives in Pacific Northwest and British Columbia.

Meanwhile, reports have emerged that another heat wave is building up during the weekend and will reach its peak on Monday. The heat wave will not be as extreme as the earlier one, but it will be unusually hot, according to The Washington Post.

The US national weather service has predicted high temperatures throughout the Northern Plains and into parts of northern and central Minnesota.

“This heat wave will exacerbate the severe to exceptional drought currently found across the region, which in combination can make for an environment ripe for wildfires to spread uncontrollably,” the agency said.

source: Hindustan times

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