California weather: Millions in the West experience record heat wave

“We are now heading for the worst – the risk of outages is real,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement. Tweeter Tuesday, adding that temperatures in the state are “unprecedented.” The heat wave will be the hottest and longest on record in September for California, he said.
Pacific Gas & Electric, the nation’s largest utility, has notified about 525,000 customers to prepare for potential rotating outages, and California residents were urged to conserve power in hopes of avoiding them. California’s independent system operator, which runs most of the state’s power grid, issued a flex alert for the 8th day in a row on Wednesday, calling on residents to set thermostats to 78 degrees or higheravoid using major appliances and turn off all unnecessary lights between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.
The California Independent System Operator issued an emergency alert for Tuesday – when peak demand hit a record high of 52,061 megawatts – saying grid conditions had deteriorated and energy supply was insufficient to meet demand. The alert was lifted a few hours later and the operator thanked “consumer conservation.”
With the heat exacerbated by climate change, some communities in the region have seen record high temperatures: Sacramento hit 116 degrees on Tuesday, the hottest day on record for the state capital, according to the National Weather Service. Records were also broken across the Bay Area, with some cities breaking previous daily records by more than 10 degrees.
While relief was expected on Thursday, the oppressive heat should now last at least until Friday, with Hurricane Kay is expected to dictate the Southern California weather pattern in addition to bringing heavy rain and high winds to the Mexican coast.

Kay will still be about 220 miles south of San Diego on Friday, according to the National Weather Service in Los Angeles, but the flow around the storm will bring easterly winds to the area, which could bring extreme heat into the beaches. .

The San Diego Weather Service extended the excessive heat warning for the region through Friday to account for the possibility of high temperatures in the 90s to 100s reaching the coast.

Debbie Chang, left, and Kim Burrell load bottled water into a cart to distribute to people on the streets in Sacramento on Tuesday.

California faces ‘new normal’ as West sets new temperature records

The man-made climate crisis is amplifying extreme weather in California, climate and weather experts told CNN, pushing temperatures to unprecedented levels this month.

And the ongoing heat wave could, in fact, be one of the worst on record for a month, not just in September, UCLA climatologist Daniel Swain said Tuesday in a Twitter Spaces chat. .

“It’s going to be essentially the worst September heat wave on record, certainly in Northern California and arguably for the state as a whole,” Swain said. “By some metrics, this could be one of the worst heat waves on record, period, in a month, given its extreme duration and magnitude, particularly in Northern California. and especially in the Sacramento area.”

Record temperatures continue to bake the West.  Here's how extreme heat days impact life

Jan Null, California meteorologist and owner of Golden Gate Weather Services, pointed to San Jose, which hit 109 degrees on Tuesday, breaking an all-time record high temperature. Nine of the city’s 10 hottest days have occurred in the 21st century, he said – a sign that the climate crisis is stoking extreme heat. “And all the modeling shows that we’re going to see more frequent heat waves and longer heat waves,” Null said.

“In a way,” he said, “it’s the new normal.”

Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities have warmed the planet by around 1.2 Celsius since pre-industrial times and this warmer benchmark means that higher temperatures can be reached during extreme heat events, according to scientists.

Numerous heat records have been set across the West, according to the weather service.

San Francisco airport reached 97 degrees on Monday, breaking a daily record. Salinas hit 103 degrees, breaking the previous record of 92 degrees set in 2004. Livermore hit a record 116.

Salt Lake City hit 104 on Monday, the hottest September day on record and also the 32nd day this year with temperatures hitting at least 100 degrees, breaking the previous record by 11 days.

Temperatures in Billings, Montana hit 100 degrees on Monday, tying a previous record high. It was the first time Billings had hit 100 degrees twice in the same September.

A firefighting helicopter performs a water drop as the Fairview Fire burns near Hemet, California on Tuesday.

Wildfires ignited across the West

Hot, dry conditions also mean fires spread faster, rage more intensely and burn longer.

Several destructive wildfires have erupted over the past week, killing at least four people in two California blazes that have also scorched homes and thousands of acres of land.

The fires, burning simultaneously in parched and drought-stricken land, have choked the hot atmosphere with smoke, bringing unhealthy air quality to parts of the western states.

Thick smoke, billowing from many wildfires, is visible from space, according to images released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The fires also displaced thousands of residents as flames progressed over communities, cutting through dry vegetation and burning homes and cars.

Two people were killed while the Fairview Fire swelled rapidly over parched vegetation in southern California on Monday, forcing hundreds of residents to flee. As of Wednesday, the blaze had burned 7,091 acres and was 5% contained, according to an update from firefighters.
2 people were killed and several structures destroyed after a fast-moving wildfire broke out in Southern California
To the north, in Siskiyou County, two women, aged 66 and 73, died in the mill fire which burned 3,935 acres and destroyed 107 structures Wednesday, according to Cal Fire.
Nearby, the mountain firealso burning in Siskiyou County, tore up 11,690 acres.
In Oregon, the Cedar Creek Fire had consumed 18,143 acres in six days after being triggered by lightning, authorities said.
During this time, the Ross’ Fork Light in Idaho that ignited in mid-August continues to burn and has engulfed 28,874 acres. The firefighters had contained it to 2% on Wednesday.

CNN’s Taylor Romine contributed to this report.

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