More than 90% of the U.S. West is in drought for the first time in the history of Drought Monitor. The news comes as the region is prepping for an exceptionally dangerous and historic heat wave this weekend. The temperatures are expected to reach unprecedented levels in many areas and remain high for a prolonged period -- prepare for it, don't get caught off guard.
"The drought situation in the western United States continued to worsen after another mostly hot and dry week," Curtis Riganti of the National Drought Mitigation Center and Ahira Sanches-Lugo of NOAA/NCEI noted in the National Drought Summary issued June 22, 2021.
"The projected temperatures on Sun-Mon across Pacific Northwest are so extreme that I think folks are having difficulty putting them into context. There remains some uncertainty, but places along the I-5 corridor from Medford to Seattle have the potential to shatter all-time records," wrote climate scientist Daniel Swain.
"This will be an exceptionally dangerous heatwave from a public health perspective, especially since this is a part of the country where structures are not designed to shed heat and where air conditioning is rare. Infrastructure/ power disruption is also possible."