Major Heat Event

Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Fry Day June 25
The time has come for what will probably be a record breaking heat wave across the entire west coast.  The charts we monitor here hinted that 'something was up' way back on June 14; by last Friday the 18th, your WxCafé (TM) put out the call for preparations for heat issues.  As long-time Patrons know, the wx models are not always ‘crazy’ and do, indeed, provide careful planners a chance to be prepared ahead of time.  Hope you took heed.  
Primary Peak Heat period:  Sat through Mon.  Triple digit or top-shelf 90s temps will be in play.  The rarity of a heat event of this magnitude is being well presented by all weather specialists across the PNW.  Heed their notices concerning heat stroke, working outside, pets, and - while it seems SO OBVIOUS - don’t leave any person or pet (or even a plant) inside a vehicle (reports of this taking place happens every heat wave).  
Now, a couple features that are so unique to this potential event:  1) overnight lows may actually break records for ‘warmth' (as temps are likely to be in the 68-72 degree range — which is our AVERAGE daytime high temperatures for this time in June);  2) daytime highs may exceed 110 degrees in places on both sides of the Cascades.  Fortunately, the humidity around the region will be low, which will help a tiny bit.  It has been reported that the Seattle area has approx. 34% of homes with air conditioning.  Whoa.  Box fans will be more sought after than gold.
How long will this last?  For several days now, models have charted temps to exceed 90 degrees in many west side locations from today through the 4th of July.  The last couple of model runs have hinted Nature’s air conditioner will be fixed, meaning cooler air could begin infiltrating inland areas west of Cascades as early as Tue or Wed next week.  Too early to predict that with confidence, so we'll call for 4 to 5 consecutive days of heat wave temps (90 or above in the shade) starting today, Fry Day.  Some models drop the heat a bit the middle of next week, then pop it back up into the 90s west side during the 4th of July weekend; others keep that onshore flow holding down temps in the 80s.  East of the Cascades, it will remain seriously HOT for the next 7 days.
We’ll focus on the upcoming holiday weekend in our next discussion.  That said, long-range charts suggest another rather hot period around July 8-10.  NO rain.  Californians will be suffering through the heat, as well.
Agricultural impact:  aside from the challenge of keeping moisture in plant root zones, the excessive heat will cause a drop in production, as well as sun-scold, shrivel & mushiness - all attributes that, for the small fruit industry, lowers the percentage of packs that can go into the high $$ end IQF market (individually quick frozen / poly-bag).  Small fruit growers are going to be impacted.  
Stop by again on Monday for another update.  Heed all Nat’l Wx Service watches & warnings — Very few of us have ever experienced such heat - - it’s nothing to joke about.  
“Wisdom is the ability to discover the alternatives."
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