What is heat wave?

Science behind US and Canada’s heat wave.

• Canada is reeling under severe heat wave, which has caused an unprecedented 195 percent risk in sudden fatalities within the past few days.

• In Portland city in Oregon, US temperatures as high as 46 degree celsius were recently registered- just three degree short of the internal core temperatures of a cooked shrimps.

• On June 29, temperature in Portland advanced to 46.7 degree celsius.

• Canada too saw it’s highest temperature ever recorded in the country’s west. In Lytton in British Columbia, temperature soared to over 46 degree celsius last week.

Canada’s heat wave:Toll tops 800

Hundred of deaths were being investigated as heat related in the US states of Oregon and Washington and in Canadian province of British Columbia

• 800 sudden and unexpected deaths have been reported. The abnormal heat wave caused the temperature in the country to rise to 49.5 degree celsius, an all time record. The weather experts have blamed the heat dome effect for the sudden rise in temperature.


• The national oceanic and atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that to understand what causes a heat dome, one should liken the Pacific Ocean to a large swimming pool in which the heater is turned on.

• Once the heater is on, the portions of the pool close to the heating jets will warm up faster & therefore the temperature in that area will be higher. In the same way, the western’s Pacific Ocean’s temperature have increased in the past few decades & are relatively more than the temperature in the eastern Pacific.

• The phenomenon causing the scorching heat is called “heat dome”. Hot air is trapped by high pressure fronts and as it is pushed back to the ground, it heats up even more.

This condition also prevents clouds from forming, allowing for more radiation from the sun to hit the ground.

•This strong change in the ocean temperature from the West to the East is what a team of scientists believe is the reason for the heat dome, which is when the atmosphere traps heat at the surface, which increses the formation of heat wave.

• To compare the reason that the planet Venus is the hottest in the solar system is because its thick cloud cover traps the heat at the surface leading to temperature as high as 471 degree celsius.

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