Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Heat Wave 2012

Living in San Diego, one could almost forget that the country is in the second week of a serious heat wave.  To appreciate its significance, I spent a few minutes looking at some cool maps (no pun intended). 

This first one is from this morning, showing the forecast heat index for today.  As described by the Weather Channel, "The heat index is the calculation of temperature that takes into consideration the effects of humidity and temperature on the human body. The heat index gives an indication of how the combination of temperature and humidity feels to humans."  I see that most Americans are feeling pretty hot today...

Forheat_ind_600x405_jul 3

And here's one, also from today, showing departures from normal temperatures.  It shows that temperatures in the Southern U.S. are about normal or just somewhat above while temperatures in the middle and Northern U.S. (except in the Northwest) are very much beyond normal.  (And yes, here in San Diego, I'm wearing a sweatshirt.)

Norm_dep_hi_600x405 how much hotter than normal

There's a lot of news today about how a heat wave like this might make more people in the U.S. acknowledge the reality and the importance of climate change. See, for example, here (by AP science writer Seth Borenstein) and here (NBC Alex Wagner's video piece). That would be cool.

- Lesley McAllister


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