Explained: What is the heat dome causing record-breaking temperatures in US, Canada

The historic heat wave prevailing in the Pacific Northwest has reportedly led to a whole bunch of deaths in Canada, Oregon and Washington as scorching temperatures shattered all-time data. Oregon in the US reported 63 deaths linked to the heatwave whereas in British Columbia, no less than 486 sudden deaths had been reported over 5 days.

US President Joe Biden stated local weather change was driving “a dangerous confluence of extreme heat and prolonged drought”, warning that the United States was behind in preparing for what might be a report variety of forest fires this yr.

Temperatures in Washington and Oregon soared effectively above 38 levels Celsius over the weekend, whereas Portland and broke all-time heat data, with temperatures touching 47 levels Celsius on Sunday.

The unprecedented heatwave is being attributed to the creation of a heat dome in the area, which has trapped heat and blocked different climate methods from transferring in.

An extreme heat warning remained in impact for components of the inside Northwest and western Canada Thursday. (Photo: Reuters)


Imagine a water tank stored on the roof in summer time. As the heat will increase, the water will get heat however the moisture and steam can’t escape resulting from the tank lid. A heat dome happens when the ambiance traps scorching ocean air like a lid or cap.

According to the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a heat dome is created when strong high-pressure atmospheric conditions mix with climate patterns like La Niña, creating huge areas of sweltering heat that get trapped beneath the high-pressure “dome”.

La Niña is a local weather sample when robust winds blow heat water at the ocean’s floor from South America to Indonesia. As the heat water strikes west, chilly water from the deep rises to the floor close to the coast of South America.

Weather specialists say the variety of heat waves are solely more likely to rise in the Pacific Northwest. (Photo: AP)

To perceive the effect of a heat dome, NOAA in contrast it to a swimming pool with a heater turned on. Temperatures rise rapidly in the areas surrounding the heater, whereas the remainder of the pool takes longer to heat up.

Similarly, Western Pacific’s temperatures have risen over the previous few a long time as in comparison with that of the Eastern Pacific, creating main strain variations that drive winds throughout the whole ocean. The strain change results in heat air, heated by the ocean floor, rise over the western Pacific, and reduces convection over the central and jap Pacific.


It has been established that rising temperatures would result in hotter climate and human-made climatic changes are resulting in harmful climate developments throughout the world. Heatwaves have been an everyday phenomenon on land. However, world warming has triggered them to be hotter with an extended length and an elevated frequency.

Temperatures in Washington and Oregon soared effectively above 38 levels Celsius over the weekend. (Photo: Reuters)

Michael E Mann, professor of atmospheric science and the director of the Earth System Science Center, in a column in the New York Times stated that heatwaves now happen 3 times as usually as they did in the Sixties and record-breaking scorching months are occurring 5 occasions extra usually than they’d be anticipated with out world warming.

Also See: See how US, Canada are coping with record-breaking heatwave

“Heatwaves have become larger, affecting 25 per cent more land area in the Northern Hemisphere than they did in 1980; including ocean areas, heatwaves grew 50 per cent,” Mann stated.

Weather specialists stated the variety of heatwaves is solely more likely to rise in the Pacific Northwest, a area usually recognized for cool, wet climate, with a number of scorching, sunny days blended in, and the place many individuals don’t have air con.

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