California's southernmost counties were on alert for a heat wave Thursday, June 9. Temperatures could reach dangerous levels in some parts of the state, with temperatures reaching 47 degrees Celsius. Temperatures are expected to rise 5 to 8 degrees Celsius to Saturday than the seasonal averages.
According to meteorologists, this heat wave will feel the worst in the interior and desert areas, Friday and Saturday.
In Palm Springs, the mercury could reach 45 degrees Celsius and in Borrego Springs, it could rise to 46.5 degrees Celsius. Alex Tardy from San Diego Weather Services said, "We have had heat waves before but not as intense and as long as this one."
In June of last year, an unusual "heat dome", which is a rare phenomenon, had already wreaked havoc along the entire west coast of Canada and the United States.
These temperature records, along with the chronic drought, had led to many fires. Lytton, a small community located 250km northeast of Vancouver, had broken the Canadian heat record with 49.6 degrees Celsius. However, it was destroyed by the flames at 90 percent a few days later.
Californian authorities are particularly concerned about the potential dangers from this heat wave, especially when California is in severe drought.
California should soon adopt a law to create a general warning system for extreme heat waves. This is similar to the one in place for hurricanes and tornadoes in other parts of the United States.
California's greatest climate threat is extreme heat waves. Ricardo Lara (CEO of the insurance supervision authority), supports the measure, saying that more heat waves will be predicted over the coming years.
The 2020 temperatures reached 49.5 degrees Celsius in Los Angeles County, and the emergency department attendance was tenfold higher than normal. These were the official figures behind the project.
The planet has warmed by 1.1 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times, due to the greenhouse gases produced by humans, mainly from fossil fuels. California's average summer temperatures are now 1.6degC warmer than they were at end of 19th century.