Death Valley is the hottest place on the planet. It’s an inhospitable place in the Mojave Desert. It registers very high temperatures, including the highest recorded in history. On Sunday the temperature was 54.4 ° C, a record. This extreme heat creates many health risks. It is also the cause of the fiery tornado that occurred in California.
Is it hot right?
Temperatures are expected to continue rising this week. Such conditions resulted in two days of blackout in California. What happened? It happens that a power station failed on Saturday. Sunday’s maximum temperature was recorded at Furnace Creek. Previously, the temperature that was reliably recorded was 53.8 ° C, also in Death Valley. It happened in 2013.
There is a record of 56.6 ° C a century ago in the same location. But it is denied by some experts who believe it was wrong. An analysis by weather historian Christopher Burt from 2016 refutes this. He says other temperatures in the 1913 region do not support this reading of Death Valley.
In 1931, another record temperature for the planet of 55 ° C was measured in Tunisia. However, Burt said these and other values measured in Africa during colonial times have “serious credibility problems”.
The current heat wave stretches from Arizona (southwest) to the Washington coast (northwest). It is expected to peak this Monday and Tuesday. It should be lightened in the following days. However, the stifling heat lasts for at least 10 days. A fiery tornado was observed in Lassen County, California on Saturday. It is a shocking phenomenon that results from the combination of high temperatures and strong winds. These create eddies with ashes and fire.
The California Independent System Operator (CISO) manages the state’s power. A level 3 emergency has been declared, which means that “demand is starting to exceed supply”. With this in mind, programmed blackouts were activated to control the energy.
The authorities define extreme heat as a period of two to three days with temperatures above 32 ° C and high humidity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are alerted. They say heat waves kill more people on average than any other extreme weather event in the country. The immediate effects on the human body include various diseases. For example, cramps, dehydration, and even heat stroke, which can be fatal. In addition, heat waves can worsen pre-existing health conditions. Among them are respiratory, heart and kidney diseases, says the World Health Organization.
The fiery tornado that popped up in California seems like a beautiful sight. But it’s just another dangerous consequence of extreme heat. It doesn’t just harm electrical networks. It also causes flight cancellations, asphalt melting, and overheating of cars.
Heat waves can also have serious effects on agriculture. Vegetables wither and die, or encourage the spread of plant diseases.