The first week of July was the hottest on record globally and more records are expected to be broken.
Global temperatures are soaring due to an unrelenting heat wave that is expected to bring new records across three continents.
In the U.S., the heat will continue through mid-week, with record temperatures expected in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Texas as well as the Lower Mississippi Valley and Southern Florida, according to the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.
Relief will be minimal during evening hours as even the daily low temperatures are expected to break records in some areas.
“An expansive area of Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories remains in the Southwest, Southern Plains, western and central Gulf Coast, and even parts of South Florida where well above normal sea surface temperatures and lighter than normal winds are contributing to stifling heat,” the center wrote in a post on Tuesday.
Temperatures across Europe are also soaring as Greece, Spain and Switzerland battle wildfires fueled by dry conditions.
In Greece, firefighters are facing multiple fires as thousands of people have fled their homes in areas around Athens. Authorities said they were fighting more than 80 fires across the country on Monday, with the largest fronts near Athens. They said they expected high temperatures reaching up to 111 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of the country and strong winds would fuel more blazes this week.
“Today was the first really tough day of this summer,” Greece’s recently re-elected Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday. “It is certain that more will follow. We’ve had, we have and will have fires, which is also one of the results of the climate crisis that we experience with increased intensity.”
Officials warned residents and tourists in the Mediterranean region on Tuesday to stay inside during the hottest hours of the day. Most of Spain is under alert for extreme heat while prolonged dry conditions are helping wildfires spread and forcing thousands to evacuate from their homes in La Palma, one of the Canary Islands.
China is also seeing record-breaking heat. Beijing on Tuesday recorded its 27th day this year with temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit – the most number of days in one year on record.
The World Meteorological Organization said it is monitoring for any new temperature records during the “intense” heat waves.
“Climate change and temperature increase has spurred a surge in reports of record weather and climate extremes, especially for heat,” Randall Cerveny of the organization said in a statement. “We have to make sure that these records are verified for the sake of scientific understanding and accuracy.”
The first week of July was the hottest week on record, according to preliminary data from the World Meteorological Organization. Last month was also the hottest June on record. The extreme temperatures are fueled mostly by climate change and El Niño, a naturally occurring weather pattern.
“We are in uncharted territory and we can expect more records to fall as El Niño develops further and these impacts will extend into 2024,” Christopher Hewitt, the organization’s director of climate services, said in a statement. “This is worrying news for the planet.”
Source: US News