In the summertime of 2022, temperatures soared to latest heights, resulting in massive droughts and diverse wildfires. In some parts of California, temperatures rose to over 110 degrees Fahrenheit and tons of of acres of forests burned uncontrolled.
As summertime subsides, and autumn and winter take hold, temperatures are falling again. But what causes these massive heat waves and the droughts and wildfires that tagged along? We review this, what to anticipate in summer 2023, and learn how to prepare for it below.
What Caused the Sudden Heat Waves Across the U.S. within the Summer of 2022?
Many things could cause the severe weather we saw in the summertime of 2022, but experts point toward several key causes of the warmth and droughts we experienced. Listed below are among the causes of the summer 2022 heat wave:
Human-Caused Climate Change
As we proceed burning fossil fuels to power our automobiles and create electricity, we release greenhouse gases (GHGs), which may impact global temperatures by trapping heat within the atmosphere. Since 1880, the typical global temperature has risen no less than 1.1 degrees Celsius (1.9 degrees Fahrenheit). The worst of this warming has taken place since 1975, because it’s warmed at a rate of 0.15 to 0.20 degrees Celsius per decade.
This human-influenced climate change definitely played a major role in the intense weather we experienced in the summertime of 2022 and can proceed to experience in the long run. Climate change is causing wind patterns and weather systems to shift, leading to more extreme climate events, comparable to more intense heat waves.
Plus, the hotter the world becomes, the less of an anomaly we’d like to create extreme heat because we’re already so near those thresholds.
Jet Stream Shifts
While global warming impacts the entire world, the Arctic is warming even faster. In truth, it’s warming at a rate of nearly 4 times faster than the remaining of the world. This ends in a smaller difference between the arctic temperatures and people on the equator, which causes swings within the North Atlantic jet stream.
The North Atlantic jet stream is the flow of westerly winds that circles the arctic. This stream directly impacts the weather in eastern North America and west Europe and might account for 10% to 50% of the precipitation variance in those areas.
Since it directly impacts weather within the U.S., these shifts within the jet stream cause extreme weather patterns, including hot weather and droughts.
Heat domes, that are large pockets of hot air trapped in a high-pressure system, are becoming more frequent. These are generally formed by a powerful change in ocean temperatures within the tropical Pacific Ocean in the course of the preceding winter.
Sometimes, these domes can turn out to be trapped over specific geographic areas and cause massive heat waves, as we experienced in the summertime of 2022.
El Nino and La Nina
El Nino and La Nina are weather patterns that occur every three to 5 years. An El Nino pattern brings warm air northward from the equatorial Pacific Ocean and up the west coast of North America. La Nina, alternatively, brings in colder waters and weather.
In 2022, we were in a La Nina, leading many experts to wonder how extreme the warmth could get if there was an El Nino event.
What Can We Expect From Weather Patterns in 2023?
The summer of 2022 was a brutal one for a lot of — particularly those within the southwest. But will 2023 bring about some relief? Most experts imagine not, for a handful of reasons. Let’s review why experts anticipate a repeat of the 2022 summer heat.
Lingering La Nina
La Nina is a one- to three-year event, however the three-year variety is rare. Despite its rarity, it appears as if the present La Nina will linger for its third yr. While this can bring wetter conditions to the northwest, it’ll also end in dry, hot conditions within the southwest.
In the summertime of 2022, these dry conditions combined with record heat and resulted in massive wildfires across the southwest. Unfortunately, if La Nina stays for its third yr, this can likely bear similar results.
Continuing Climate Change
While the world is making strides in lowering GHG emissions by switching from fossil fuels and enacting carbon removal programs, climate change stays an issue. The world continues getting hotter annually, leading to more extreme weather patterns. This includes heat waves and droughts.
Likelihood is these weather patterns will worsen before they improve, so logic says we will expect similar heat waves and droughts in 2023.
How Should You Prepare for One other Heat Wave?
With one other heat wave likely in the summertime of 2023, the safest bet is to be prepared before it strikes. From ensuring your air conditioner is as much as the duty of cooling your home to having loads of cold water available, the following tips will show you how to prepare.
Check Your Air Conditioning Early
When a heat wave hits, you ought to make sure that your air-con is as much as the duty of keeping you and your loved ones cool. As an alternative of waiting to get that much-needed air-con checkup when the weather report warns you of an impending heat wave, have it checked now.
This can make sure you don’t get stuck in a backlog of individuals rushing to get their air-con services ahead of the warmth wave. Also, this permits time to get any substitute parts if there’s a difficulty and your unit is in need of repair.
You’ll also want to alter all of the filters in your home to make sure your air-con is running at peak efficiency.
What if your property doesn’t have air-con, and the 2022 summer heat was unbearable? In case your budget allows for it, you possibly can have central air-con installed. Or for those who can’t swing the value of a central air-con unit, you may as well go for window-mounted units in select rooms throughout the home or purchase a transportable air-con unit you can move between rooms as needed.
Check and Adjust Fans
Your air-con isn’t the one cooling item in your home. Your ceiling fans may also go a great distance in keeping the warmth at bay. Nonetheless, it’s worthwhile to ensure they’re operating appropriately. Activate all of your fans before the warmth wave hits and confirm they’re all operational.
While doing that, make sure that they’re all spinning counterclockwise as you look up at them. This pushes cooler air toward the ground and is the right setting for summertime. In the event that they’re spinning clockwise, find the turn on the side of the fan that reverses the rotation and alter it.
When you don’t have air-con, you may as well use fans to cut back how hot the air feels and flow into air throughout your property. Nonetheless, the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control don’t recommend using a fan when the temperature inside your property exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit, as this only makes the air feel cooler, but it surely continues to be hot air passing over your body. And by feeling cooler, you possibly can overheat internally without realizing it.
Block Out the Sun
Most houses have just a few windows that get tons of sun and might make it harder to maintain things cool. Find these windows in your home and get high-quality window coverings to dam out the sun during these times of the day.
Blackout curtains work well, but the perfect solution is a set of cellular shades, which have pockets of air that filter out more of the sun’s rays and warmth. When you can’t install these shades for any reason, nearly any sun-blocking shade or curtain is best than none.
When you can’t install latest window coverings, you may as well install temporary heat reflectors. Simply cover a bit of cardboard with aluminum foil and place this over your window to dam out the sun and reflect the warmth. Construct these reflectors ahead of time so that they’re ready when the warmth wave strikes.
Refrigerate Your Water
Refill a handful of reusable insulated bottles with water and place them within the refrigerator ahead of a heat wave. This ensures you may have an excellent supply of cold water when the temperatures rise. Cold water helps prevent your body from overheating more effectively than room-temperature water.
Avoid buying bottled water, as this creates unnecessary plastic waste. As an alternative, go for tap water, or for those who prefer filtered water, buy a faucet water filter or a filtering pitcher, then transfer the water to your reusable water bottle.
Weather Seal Your Home
You’ll be able to lose a number of energy through bad weather seals and lack of insulation throughout your property. Check around your doors and windows to make sure that your weather stripping isn’t cracked or otherwise damaged, which could allow hot air into your property.
In the event that they are damaged, you should buy replacements at a neighborhood home improvement store or online and replace them yourself. When you lack the technical know-how to put in them, you may as well hire an expert.
You may additionally consider investing in energy-efficient windows or properly insulating your property.
Prepare for an Upcoming Heat Wave and Help Prevent More With Terrapass
All of the signs point toward one other heat wave in 2023, as GHG emissions, climate change, and the lingering La Nina are all working to push temperatures higher. Fortunately, you possibly can be ready ahead of time with just a bit of preparation.
Nonetheless, we will all do our part to assist lower the danger of more and worsening heat waves by acting now to cut back our carbon footprints. You will help by making lifestyle changes and buying carbon removal credits to offset unavoidable carbon emissions. Try Terrapass’s monthly carbon removal subscriptions for other common carbon-emitting events, comparable to flights, road trips, weddings, and more.
Dropped at you by terrapass.com