You America Going through a historical drought. From the Rio Grande to the Rocky Mountains, nearly half of the country is experiencing its worst drought in 20 years, a federal information system created to monitor this climate episode, balance sheet this Tuesday (29) by the US Drought Monitor According to.
In the first week of the hottest season of the year, water shortages and fire hazards affect 11 states. Dangerous reservoir levels and record temperatures indicate it could become the most severe US water crisis in generations.
Drought is defined as a drop in humidity that is severe enough to have social, environmental or economic impacts. Unlike other weather disasters, it can be longer lasting and more difficult to detect. However, for months, experts have been warning of extreme drought conditions in the American West.
In the Northern Hemisphere this early summer, the numbers are worrying. According to the Drought Monitor, for the third week in a row, a classification from “extreme drought” to “extraordinary drought”, considered the most severe stage, broke a record in the Pacific coast, affecting nearly 50% of that region. happen. US Drought Monitor, in English).
Since 2002, the US has not seen a drought of this proportion. This phenomenon has been called “megadry” by the American press. As the summer progresses, this phenomenon is likely to be the most severe in centuries.
Currently, 92 million Americans suffer from the problem in at least 31 of the country’s 50 states – from the moderate to most severe stage. More than 76 million acres of plantings were affected.
The event is proceeding in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and Idaho. There is great concern about the risk of wildfires, restrictions on access to water, damage to agricultural production and the well-being of residents and animals.
The state of Utah and about a third of California are in a state of emergency. The administration asked people to save water. California’s more than 1,500 reservoirs are at half their normal capacity at this time of year.
As a result, some hydroelectric plants may be forced to cease activities during the peak of the fire season. Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir located between the states of Nevada and Arizona, is experiencing a decline in water content and has reached its lowest level since 1937.
This scenario could trigger the first federal declaration of scarcity, limiting water consumption for millions of Americans.
After another warm, rainless week, conditions continue to worsen in the western US. According to weather forecasters, what has been called the worst heat wave in the history of the Pacific Northwest is expected to peak in the next few days. Washington, Oregon and parts of Wyoming and California face an unprecedented heat wave. New temperature records are expected to be set in some areas of the country during this week.
Canada Records Historical Temperature Records
Thermometers have gone up in Canada as well. Fraser Canyon, British Columbia, temperature reached 47ºC this Monday (28).
According to Canada’s environment ministry, the temperature record in the country’s history, which was already broken on Sunday (27), was exceeded for the second time in less than 48 hours. Extreme heat affects areas where neither populations, nor animals, nor buildings are adapted to these conditions, increasing the incidence of diseases and deaths associated with high temperatures manifold.
Northwestern US and southwestern Canada face record heat
With less intensity, another heat wave hits the northeastern United States. On the Atlantic coast, temperatures are approaching weather records and thermometers exceed 30ºC, even in New York.
These drought cycles are linked to climate change and get worse as water demand increases. Episodes of extreme temperatures, such as those passing through the United States, have become more frequent and intense in different parts of the world.