From Ice Sheet to Heat Dome

July 19, 2016


Back just in time.


As we descend into the depths of summer, some of the year’s hottest temperatures may be soon upon us. Forecasters expect a high pressure ridge and extreme temperatures to combine to create what is referred to as a “heat dome” over large portions of the United States.

A heat dome occurs when high pressure in the upper atmosphere acts as a lid, preventing hot air from escaping. The air is forced to sink back to the surface, warming even further on the way. This phenomenon will result in dangerously hot temperatures that will envelop the nation throughout the week. Heat index values for parts of the U.S. are expected to reach 110 degrees or higher. In response, the National Weather Service has issued heat alerts for more than a dozen states across the U.S.

This map, based on data from NOAA’s HRRR Model shows the predicted high temperatures on July 18, 2016 at 5 p.m. EDT. These temperatures reflect the beginning of the scorching heat wave that is expected to last throughout the week.

Andrew Friedman in Mashable:

The culprit for the sultry weather is an unusually intense and expansive area of high pressure, also referred to as a “heat dome,” that is parking itself over the South Central U.S.

The clockwise circulation of air around this high is dragging moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and pumping it northward, all the way to Canada, which is resulting in the high humidity levels.

In addition, evapotranspiration from crops in agricultural states such as Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Minnesota is also adding to the moisture content of the atmosphere.

The high pressure area itself will be strong enough to put it on a list of strongest such weather systems observed in that part of the country.

Meteorologists often look to a metric known as geopotential height to gauge the intensity or unusualness of a heat dome like this. Geopotential height measures the elevation of an air pressure surface.

Hot air masses expand, and elevate pressure surfaces, while cold air masses are more dense and compact, which lowers them.

According to the National Weather Service in Minneapolis, the height of the 500 millibar pressure level may be near 6,000 meters, “which is very rare and considered an extreme event.”

Citing computer model data as of Sunday morning, the Weather Service stated: “…This is expected to be the hottest atmosphere for this time of year compared to 1985-2012!  As a result, this may be one of the worst heat waves in the last few decades.”

Strong heat gave rise to intense T-storms on the east coast, which accounts for me getting stranded in Newark, and not getting home till 4 am this morning.
Strongest heat wave since 2012. Welcome to the Rest of Our lives.





6 Responses to “From Ice Sheet to Heat Dome”

  1. […] Source: From Ice Sheet to Heat Dome | Climate Denial Crock of the Week […]

  2. indy222 Says:

    Great. That’s just super.

  3. rabiddoomsayer Says:

    “we’ll adapt to that” as he shakes his head. He knows we will not adapt.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      1 percenters can adapt by moving to a gated community in Hudson’s Bay.
      The rest of us not so much.

  4. patricklinsley Says:

    Another example of “the rest of our lives”

    Torrential rains wash out Northwoods roads and bridges, swamp harbor

    A wide swath of the Northwoods recorded rain totals nearing double digits with Wascott in Douglas County topping the list at 11 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

    Former Lawmaker Weighs In On Flooding In Northern Wisconsin

    In his 32 years in the Wisconsin state Legislature, former Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, has seen many disasters, but never one with as much water damage spread across a region, he said. Jauch traveled through the area over the weekend.

    “Almost every town road, county road and state highway is closed, washed out. The water has receded, but you can tell from the water marks on the trees just how high the Bad River got, and how difficult it was for families who were virtually isolated in this storm,” Jauch said.

    More than $30 million in damage has been reported, over $28.8 million from damage to public infrastructure, according to the Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center.

  5. dumboldguy Says:

    Welcome to the Rest of Our Lives is one of your best videos—show it often.

    Tillerson is high on my list of people I’d like to punch out—behind Trump, Cruz, Ryan, McConnell, Inhofe, and Lamer Smith, though. I’d like to “adapt” my fist to his face.

    We are awaiting the arrival of the “heat dome” here on the East Coast this weekend. Does anyone know if it is projected to reach Greenland and what impact that may have on the ice melt?

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