NASA’s heat map shows dangerously high temperatures across the United States in July

NASA’s heat map shows dangerously high temperatures across the United States in July

A Nasa heat map of the US on July 31, 2022 according to rising temperatures over the month (Nasa)

A Nasa heat map of the US on July 31, 2022 according to rising temperatures over the month (Nasa)

A new map released by NASA has shown just how intense the heat was in the United States in July.

The animated map, created using satellite data and climate models, is bathed in crimson as brutally high temperatures swept the country from Texas to California and from New York to Florida.

The somber animation is a stark reminder of the rolling, dangerous heatwave the US is facing this summer, a result of the deepening climate crisis.

In July, temperatures were above average in practically the entire United States, NASA reported. Overall, more than 150 million people — nearly half the country — faced warnings or alerts as high-pressure “heat domes” trapped hot air to create sustained heat waves.

Heatwaves are clearly visible on the map in the southeast, northeast, and northwest. But what’s really striking is the constant crimson heat in the southern Plains states of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, all of which experienced repeated days with temperatures of 38 degrees Celsius or 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperatures in the plains reached up to 46°C, according to NASA. Combined with humidity, the temperature felt like 120F (49C) in some places.

At one point, 100 million Americans were under heat advisories or warnings simultaneously as high temperatures eased in the South and Northeast, the country’s most densely populated region.

At least 43 locations experienced their hottest July on record, according to reports axiosincluding many cities in Texas.

And the heat was often unrelenting. Nasa reported that Utah experienced 16 days with temperatures at or above 100 °F (38 °C) and Newark, New Jersey, experienced five straight days with temperatures in the triple digits — both records.

Towards the end of July, a heat wave hit the Pacific Northwest, resulting in up to 20 deaths in Oregon and Washington. Although not as catastrophic or intense as last year’s heat dome in these states, which killed hundreds of people as temperatures topped 120F (49C), this year’s heatwave again showed how vulnerable the normally temperate region is to extreme heat.

But the heat isn’t over yet. Millions of Americans are under heat advisories or warnings again this week as temperatures climb towards or above 100°F (38°C) in the southern, central and northeastern United States.

Europe also experienced a record-breaking heatwave last month. Temperatures in the UK hit 40°C (104°F) for the first time on record, and extreme heat killed nearly 2,000 people in Spain and Portugal.

Heat waves are becoming hotter and more frequent due to the climate crisis, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading authority on climate science.

The world has warmed by about 1.1°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures. If the planet reaches 2C warming, heat waves that used to occur once every 10 years would occur about every two years, the panel says.

July 2021 was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). No data is available for this July.

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