Anyone want to know what the 2017 Eclipse will look like at your location with nice graphics and all? Check out this excellent simulator put together by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. You’ll be able to animate the eclipse for any given location in the US from beginning to end and find out what to expect. I made a collection of some of the locations which will experience partial eclipses (all at their time of maximum eclipse). All these location were in areas of 75% or greater obscuration of the solar disk. Optical and atmospheric effects begin to take hold with 75% obscuration as incoming shortwave radiation from the sun is significantly reduced. Read more about that in my previous July post HERE if you haven’t already. Remember, however, that even with 99% obscuration, the sun will still be too bright and therefore too dangerous too look at directly without certified eclipse glasses. Direct viewing of the sun for multiple minutes can blind you, any amount can cause eye injury!
It was VERY smoky in the Northwest Wednesday unfortunately because of major fires in the Interior US and Canada.
BELOW were the highs Wednesday for select cities. Southwest WA and Western OR are being particularly hit hard by this heat wave. Interior Western WA and Puget Sound were actually sparred some of the worst of the heat today by the smoke; it was thick enough to act as a cloud to dampen the radiation and limit warming in places such as Seattle. It remains to be seen if that will be the case Thursday. If not, the hottest day if the heat may very well be Thursday for Western WA (and about the same for Western OR). This, along with an Air Quality Alert in effect for much of Western WA/OR means those in the area will need to not only be careful with strenuous activity to avoid heat-related illnesses, but also avoid breathing problems, if sensitive to such smoke particulates.
(record highs in red)
Seattle (National Weather Service Office): 88
Seattle (International Airport): 91 – Old Record 89 (2009). Special Note: Seattle also shattered its daily record for warmest minimum temperature with a morning low of 69 (old record was 61 set back in 2015) and it ranks as the 2nd warmest daily minimum temperature on record.
Hoquiam: 89 – Old Record 81 (1993)
Quillayute (North WA Coast): 98 – Old Record 89 (1993). Special Note: This was likely caused by easterly downslope winds; easterly surface winds flowing along the higher hilly terrain descends down the slopes resulting in “adiabatic heating” (compression heating from increasing pressure on the air molecules as the flow drops in elevation). This hot air blows into town and shoots the temperature up fast. This process occurs throughout the region and is the reason why it is typically a “dry heat” in Western WA/OR during heat waves. The heated air becomes dry, with little moisture added to it.
Astoria: 93 – Old Record 88 (1939)
Portland (International Airport): 103 – Old Record 96 (1986)
Troutdale (East Portland Metro): 105 – Old Record 99 (1995)
Hillsboro: 105 – Old Record 99 (1939)
Salem: 107 – Old Record 102 (1939)
Eugene: 102 – Old Record 99 (1939)
Medford: 112 – Old Record 105 (1993)
Klamath Falls: 99 – Old Record 94 (1977)
As you see, for Oregon, there was a major theme in the records for Wednesday’s climate stations. It was the hottest day many of these locations had seen on this date since 1939.
Please be safe if you live in this region the next couple of days. Drink PLENTY of water, take breaks from the heat as necessary, use fans if you don’t have air conditioning (common problem in this region, I lived there without air conditioning and the summers statistically are generally getting warmer because of anthropogenic climate change…), and again, like me, I have asthma; if you don’t need to do anything strenuous outside DON’T! Just drive instead of walk or just stay inside, cool and relax. The slightly cooler weather (still above normal, however) starts Friday.
If you live in Western Washington and like roasting near 100 degree temperatures, you are and will be getting your wish the next 72 hrs. As powerful upper-atmospheric ridge of high pressure is establishing itself over the West Coast of the US, the combination of clear skies and subsiding (downward moving as opposed to upward rising) air under this high pressure system – subsiding air warms as it sinks – is leading to incredible heat over the interior areas of Western WA/OR and Northern CA.
Extreme heat warnings have been issued for virtually ALL OF Washington State, Western Oregon, and much of Northern California.
Shown below are the average high temperatures for today (August 1st) for selected cities in Western WA/OR followed by forecast highs for today-Thurs or Fri. The forecast highs in red are highs which would break the record high for that day.
Tues, August 1st Average High Temperature: 77
Forecast Highs (Tues-Fri): 87, 94, 98, 95
Olympia, WA (state capitol)-
Tues, August 1st Average High Temperature: 79
Forecast Highs (Tues-Fri): 92, 98, 103, 95
Tues, August 1st Average High Temperature: 82
Forecast High (Tues-Thurs): 99, 105, 105 (All-time record high is 107 from 1965/1981)
Salem, OR (state Capitol)-
Tues, August 1st Average High Temperature: 84
Forecast High (Tues-Thurs): 99, 106, 105 (All-time record high is 108 from ’27, ’41, ’81)
According to the 5 pm PDT observation, Salem has reached 100 degrees, exceeding their forecast temp and tying the daily record of 100 degrees for today.
Tues, August 1st Average High Temperature: 84
Forecast High (Tues-Thurs): 99, 106, 103 (All-time record high is 108 from ’81)
Medford, OR- (edited at 10:40 pm CDT Tuesday to add this city)
Tues, August 1st Average High Temperature: 93
Forecast High (Tues-Thurs): 108, 114, 111 (All-time record high is 115 from ’46)
It’s very possible that for a portion of the Willamette Valley, especially the Central Willamette Valley, Wednesday could be one of the most intense heat days on record!
The worst of the heat for Western WA and Western OR is expected to end after Friday more seasonable to reasonable above normal temperatures this weekend.
One of the most significant impacts of human-induced Global Climate Change are the impact on heat waves. As the average temperature of Earth warms, many local temperature patterns are shifting toward temperatures which are “hot” to “extremely hot” relative to average temperatures in the mid-20th century (typically defined by their standard deviation from the mean temperature for the local area).
This shift has had implications for impacts on everything from drought to human health such as heat-related illness and vector-borne illnesses. It will continue to do so as carbon dioxide levels continue to climb. The levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached a record in observed human history of ~410 parts per million in May of this year, the highest level in at least several million years (and humanity is pumping it into the atmosphere at a rate unseen in the past 65 million years).
At this time, global warming has reached approximately 1 degree C (nearly 2 degrees F) since the early modern Industrial Era (the 1880s). It is statistically known that heat waves, droughts and also heavy precipitation events (because of additional moisture added to a warmer atmosphere) are being impacted directly by climate change.