2018: The New Normal Emerges in California, July Hottest Month EVER

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 19 August 2018


The New Normal Emerging in California

July 2018 Warmest Month in California History; Unprecedented Early-Season Wildfire Activity Continues,
Weather West, August 9, 2018.


Early July Heatwave
"July 2018 was an extraordinary weather month across most of California. Early in the month, a searing heatwave brought all-time record heat to some locations in Southern California."

High Temp July
"...extreme heat receded somewhat during the rest of the month, temperatures never cooled back to anywhere near average, and the past 3-4 weeks have been punctuated by heatwaves that have broken countless daily temperature records."

Nighttime Highs
"...a number of more “subtle” temperature records have fallen this July, with all-time record warm overnight temperatures occurring across a majority of the state and “consecutive 100+ degree day” records falling through parts of the Central Valley. Death Valley apparently recorded the warmest single month officially recorded anywhere on Earth."

Record Sea Surface Temps in SoCal
"As of this week, ocean temperatures in the Southern California Bight have reached all-time record high levels (around 80 degrees F at the Scripps Pier)–bringing a seemingly endless stretch of unusually muggy conditions and extremely elevated near-coastal dewpoints into the 65-70 degree range (that’s like more like what would be expected in Washington, D.C. or even parts of the Gulf Coast in summer)."

Warmest Month Ever Recorded in California
" this past month was not only the warmest July on record in California but actually the warmest single month recorded in the history of the state!"

Nightime Heat Did It
"...but much of the contribution to the all-time monthly warmth came from exceedingly warm overnight temperatures (which, as past research has pointed out, is a hallmark of global warming)."

Record Heat & Fuel
"Coincident with the all-time record heat this past July, the flammability of vegetation (as measured by both “fuel moisture” and the “energy release component”) approached or exceeded record levels for this time of year across the northern 2/3 of the state."

Record Fires
"The Ferguson Fire has resulted in the unprecedented indefinite closure of Yosemite National Park; the Carr Fire consumed over 1000 homes near Redding and produced an exceptionally violent “fire tornado” (more on that below), and the Mendocino Complex surrounding Clearlake (composed of the Ranch and River fires) has now become California’s largest fire event in modern history–eclipsing the previous record set by the Thomas Fire just last December."

Worse Air in the World
"Meanwhile, tens of millions of Californians are currently being affected by degraded air quality as a result of widespread and locally very dense wildfire smoke. In fact, some of the worst air quality in the world this week has been in Northern California–exceeding even that of notoriously polluted megacities in China."

Climate Change Supercharging Destruction
"...we also emphasize that climate change is now acting as a wildfire “threat multiplier”–greatly amplifying the other human aspects of fire risk."

California Transformed
The New Normal
"...temperatures in California are already much warmer than they used to be just a few decades ago. Mountain snowpack is on the decline, and is melting earlier in the spring. Hotter summer and autumn temperatures are drying out vegetation everywhere, even in places that were already quite arid to begin with. And more recent evidence confirms that the fire season is lengthening–not just due to rising temperatures, but also due to the compression of our already short rainy season into an even narrower window during winter."

Carr Fire Vortex
"...which ultimately produced a half-mile wide “fire vortex” equivalent in strength to violent EF-3 tornado (with winds near 150 mph)."

High August Heat Expected
"...the heat appears likely to return once again. The ECMWF and GFS ensembles are in agreement that a fairly strong West Coast ridge will re-build once again by mid-August, bringing hot conditions to essentially the same locations that have already been experiencing them all summer long."


Events Mentioned in the Article Above

Rise of Night-Time Highs
CEPA Report Shows How Ancient California Ecosystems Destroyed in a Century

Record 2018 Death Valley & Northern Hemispheric Heat

Scripps Pier Records Highest Ocean Temperature in its 102-year History

2018, Hot Times in SoCal: Record Warm Waters off Southern California


For the High Sierra Backpacker







The Great Northern Hemisphere Heatwave of 2018

August 2
Record 2018 Death Valley & The Northern Hemispheric Heat Wave of 2018


July 30
The Hottest Summer of 2018: Killing Ourselves and Everything Else


July 28
NORTH HEMISPHERE HEATWAVE, Everything Frying: Three Articles, UPDATED


July 6
The N Hemisphere is on Fire



Heatwave Research

Heat Wave-a-topia, More Heat Waves Coming

Heatwave deaths will rise steadily by 2080 as globe warms up


The Fate of the Sierra & the Southwest

Climate Change News: Whole Southwest of US Undergoing Aridification

The Climate Models

Climate Models Underestimating Scale of Change: Twice What Climate Models Predict?

Four Degrees by 2084


We're in deep trouble.









August 2018 News of Man & Nature





News from Nature


Climate Destruction News



Bee News

Bear News

Spider Forum

Bird News

Small Mammals

Frogs and Reptiles

Butterfly News


Health and Fitness

Mountain Safety

Mosquito News

Female Trail

High Sierra History


Astro-Phys, Space, & Science News

High Sierra Geology News

Fish, Oceans, & Water News



All High Sierra News





July 2018 warmest month ever measured in California


Originally Published
2018-08-09 20:37:38

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