Intense wildfires burning across Siberia's Sakha Republic sent a plume of smoke all the way to the North Pole on Sunday into Monday, as seen by scientists tracking the blazes via satellite imagery.
Why it matters: The fires have been raging since early spring, and while this region is known for seasonal blazes, there are signs the fires are becoming more intense, starting earlier and lasting longer.
Starting next week, the National Weather Service will begin using more specific lingo to alert residents to the severity and potential impacts from thunderstorms — similar to tornado and flash-flood warnings.
Why it matters: 13 of the 22 billion-dollar weather and climate events in the U.S. last year were severe thunderstorms.
What to expect:
The Pacific Northwest is once again in the midst of a heat wave after already seeing its worst such event on record this summer. Temperatures are soaring into the low 100s in some areas, while dangerous heat is also affecting the South Central states and Gulf Coast.
Why it matters: The occurrence of yet another heat wave during a drought in the West is ratcheting up wildfire risks. The heat itself is a major public health risk, as extreme heat is typically the biggest annual weather-related cause of mortality in the U.S.
We’re certainly not trying to minimize the disaster of Pinellas County’s red tide fish kill, but we really want you to understand just how much 1,600 tons of dead fish is — and how its scale affects our local environment.
Of note: This isn’t even all of it. Since our last update, the amount of dead fish recovered has increased to 1,687 tons, according to the county.
Organizers in Wisconsin postponed the biggest air show in the U.S. as a severe storm system threatened the Midwest with potentially hurricane-force winds, tornados, hail and thunderstorms overnight.
Threat level: More than 5.9 million people could be affected by the storm system — which saw the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, postpone events due to be held Wednesday until the following evening amid the threat of 90 mph winds.
The latest in a series of relentless heat waves is bringing dangerously hot temperatures to a the Central U.S. on Wednesday, and will contribute to a severe thunderstorm outbreak across the Upper Midwest. The heat will expand in scope toward the end of the week.
The big picture: Heat watches, warnings and advisories are in effect across 19 states, from Portland, Oregon east to Minneapolis, and running all the way south to New Orleans. Temperatures of between 10°F and 15°F above average in these areas along with high humidity poses a public health threat.
A widespread heat wave has begun across the contiguous U.S., with at least 30 million people likely to see temperatures reach or exceed 100°F by the end of the week. At least 17 states are under heat warnings or advisories on Tuesday.
Why it matters: The hot weather, which comes courtesy of another heat dome building across the Southwest, Rockies and then sliding into the western Plains, will only aggravate drought conditions and worsen many of the western wildfires.
We are now at 1,624 tons of dead fish that have been pulled from the waters surrounding Pinellas County.
Some scale: The heaviest blue whale on record weighed 200 tons. This is more than eight times that.
Two significant U.S. lakes, one of which is a major reservoir, are experiencing historic lows amid a drought that scientists have linked to climate change.
What's happening: Lake Powell, the second largest reservoir in the U.S., has fallen to 3,554 feet in elevation, leaving the crucial lake on the Colorado River, at 33% capacity — the lowest since it was filled over half a century ago, new U.S. Bureau of Reclamation data shows.
The recent deadly heat wave in the Pacific Northwest, during which all-time temperature records were shattered by several degrees, is a prologue to what is coming across much of the U.S., Europe and Asia, a new study finds.
Why it matters: The study shows that the rate of climate change is an under-appreciated driver of extreme heat, and that today's quickening pace of warming virtually guarantees more extreme temperature records in coming decades.