The US will face a suffocating and prolonged heat wave

(CNN) — Some of the hottest temperatures of the year are coming up on the West Coast and they may stay dangerously hot through Labor Day as a long-term mega heat wave builds.

More than 55 million people are currently under heat advisories from Southern California through the San Joaquin Valley and into parts of the Northwest, including 20 of the most populous cities along the West Coast.

“Temperatures could exceed 43.3C in parts of the Southwest, where an excessive heat advisory is currently in effect,” the Weather Prediction Center (WPC) wrote.

The areas with the greatest difficulties will be in the southwest, where the heat will be more intense.

west heat wave

This map shows the heat risk for Sunday. The risk increases from left to right depending on the color.

“There may be some records to be broken, but record high temperatures are very high this time of year,” the NWS office in Los Angeles said. “Record-breaking or not, this prolonged heat wave is going to be very dangerous.”

More than 100 records could be broken in the West.

Extended heat wave for the Southwest

The kind of heat that will be felt from San Diego to Los Angeles and even Phoenix will be hard to bear even for locals.

“This heat is potentially record breaking and will produce a very high risk of heat illness,” the NWS office in Los Angeles said. “Heat above 100°F is expected for many Valley and Mountain locations. Even hotter conditions are expected over Labor Day weekend through early next week.”

The heat will begin on Tuesday, with a gradual rise in temperatures each day throughout the week, peaking at the end of the week.

The reason for the extreme conditions is a persistent zone of high pressure that sits over the region, creating what meteorologists call a “heat dome.”

This intense dome of heat causes high pressures to act like a lid on the atmosphere. When the hot air tries to escape, the lid forces it back down, heating up even more as it descends.

The result will be intense summer heat, 5-8°C above normal.

heat wave

Areas under a heat advisory are marked in orange; warning zones are dark red and excessive heat warning zones are purple.

“Excessive heat warnings are in effect for nearly the entire forecast area beginning Wednesday through next Monday,” the NWS office in Los Angeles said.

The forecast shows temperatures of 43.3 to 46.1 °C in the deserts and the San Fernando Valley, with temperatures ranging from 32.2 to 37.7 °C along the coast. That’s hot enough to potentially break records there too.

In Phoenix, “dry heat” will give way to more humid conditions on Thursday and Friday.

This will drop the actual temperature slightly, but the NWS in Phoenix warns that the humidity could make it feel hotter.

In Southern California, some morning clouds could roll in Friday morning, giving the heat a brief respite, but it won’t last long.

“There will be a new warming that will produce a hot Sunday,” the NWS office in Los Angeles said.

Even downtown Los Angeles could reach 37.7C on Sunday and Death Valley could hit 51.6C.

This heat extends to the San Joaquin Valley, where record temperatures are possible.

“It is increasingly believed that these will be the hottest temperatures so far this year,” the NWS office in Hanford, California said.

“Record high temperatures are expected from Thursday, with the best chances of breaking the record on Sunday and Monday, when peak heat is expected.”

The Labor Day holiday will be one of the hottest days of the event, and the heat could last for much of the next week, making heat-related illnesses a big concern amid the sweltering heat.

Record heat for the Pacific Northwest

Peak heat for the interior parts of the Pacific Northwest will be felt for much of this week as high temperatures soar, including in Seattle, Portland and Boise.

“Daytime highs are likely to be 5-11°C above normal and nighttime lows 8-11°C above normal,” the Weather Prediction Center said.

The heat is expected to peak on Wednesday, with highs as high as 90°F (32.2°C) and with the possibility of reaching as high as 100°F (37.7°C) in parts of the western basin, near Spokane, Washington, even breaking records. .

“Highs are forecast to be 5-8C above average as several locations could break daily high temperature records,” the National Weather Service in Seattle said.

Near Boise, Idaho, temperatures could reach 50 degrees above normal, with record heat expected through Tuesday.

And in Seattle, high temperatures are expected to be between 26 and 32 °C.

The extreme heat should ease by the end of the week, allowing temperatures to return to around 70°F by Labor Day weekend.

A tropical system could be on the horizon by Labor Day

The tropics are also heating up ahead of the holiday weekend.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is actively watching two areas of the Atlantic for tropical development, as it is very likely that we will have our next named tropical system before Labor Day.

An area of ​​low pressure several hundred kilometers east of the Lesser Antilles has the greatest potential to become “Danielle.”

“Although environmental conditions are only marginally conducive, some gradual development of this system is expected over the next few days and a tropical depression is likely to form later this week,” the NHC said.

There is an 80% chance that this area will become a tropical system in the next five days, according to the NHC.

Forecast models point this system to the west, staying north of the Caribbean islands and curving north, avoiding the Bahamas.

The storm should stay out of the sea as of now, but things could change between now and next week.

Even though the storm should stay out of the sea, there will still be implications for the East Coast through Labor Day weekend.

The storm could create breezy conditions and even strong rip currents on the East Coast. The proximity of the storm to the United States will determine the intensity of the winds and rip currents. Closer to the coast they will be stronger, farther from the coast they will be weaker.

The NHC no longer follows the development of the Western Caribbean area. However, that region is still producing clouds and rain that will pump tropical moisture toward the Texas coast. That will increase the chances of rain in South Texas over Labor Day weekend.

Another area to watch is a tropical wave just off the coast of Africa. This area could also become a tropical depression over the next few days, although it could be short-lived.

“Later this week, the disturbance is forecast to move over cooler waters and no further development is expected,” the NHC said.

— CNN Meteorologist Judson Jones contributed to this report.

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