Rusty's Evening Forecast - Dangerous heat arrives this week

Katie Ramirez
July 17, 2019

Orange County averages 13 days a year with a heat index of 90 degrees or more, but that will increase to 52 days a year by mid-century and 93 days by 2099 without action to address global warming, the report found. The only place in the US that experiences such off-the-charts heat index values in an average year is the Sonoran Desert, on the border between California and Arizona, according to the report.

Counties across the US are set to shift from bake to broil within even the next two decades, as climate change doubles the number of days nationwide that feel hotter than 100 degrees and quadruples those that feel above 105.

The humidity, in part thanks to the remnants of Tropical Storm Barry, will also hike the heat index or apparent temperature - a measure of what the air feels like to the human body.

"The report clearly shows how actions taken, or not taken, within the next few years to reduce emissions will help determine how hot and humid our future becomes", the release stated.

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All the scenarios foresee an increase in the number of unsafe heat days, though the sharpest rise would come if there's no action to reduce fossil fuel emissions.

The heat and humidity is expected to combine to give us high temperatures in the mid to upper 90s, with heat indices climbing to between 100-110, setting the stage for a risky heat wave. By late century this would increase to areas where more than 118 million people-over one-third of the US population-live. High temperatures will be in the 90s Tuesday through Saturday with high humidity levels in the forecast. "At the same time, people in states already experiencing extreme heat - including in the Southeast, Southern Great Plains and Southwest - have not seen heat like this", Licker said. "Exposure to conditions in that range makes it hard for human bodies to cool themselves and could be deadly", she added.

"Without a reliable estimate of the heat index, the NWS can not adequately communicate the gravity of associated risks to public health", the study's authors wrote. This extra Carbon dioxide causes temperatures of the atmosphere and oceans to rise to levels that can not be explained by natural factors, scientists say. If the rise in global average temperatures is kept below the 2 degrees Celsius threshold, virtually no Texans would see off-the-charts heat index values in an average year, according to the report. "We need to employ our most ambitious actions to prevent the rise of extreme heat".

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