One scientific instrument mapped the high-pressure dome installed over the southwestern United States in early July, while another scientific instrument captured the surface temperature.
Just a few weeks after the Pacific Northwest experienced record temperatures, another heat wave swept across the southwestern United States. This wave of heat began around July 7 and flattened or broke many historical records in California, Nevada, northern Arizona, and southern Utah.
Two instruments, the Atmospheric Infrared Detector (AIRS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite and the agency’s ECOsystem Space Thermal Radiometer Experiment (ECOSTRESS) on the space station, track heat waves and provide their visualization. The
AIRS instrument captured the progress of the slow-moving thermal dome in the southwestern United States from July 1 to July 12. The AIRS data animation (above) shows anomalies in surface temperature-values ​​above or below the long-term average. The warmer areas shown in pink have surface temperatures 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5.6 degrees Celsius) above average. The surface air temperature is the temperature that people can directly feel when they are outdoors.
Surface temperature data for California.
regions On July 8, 2021, the ECOSTRESS instrument on the NASA space station captured surface temperature data over California. As of 7:16 a.m. local time, the red zone (including Death Valley) has exceeded 86 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much higher than the area’s average surface temperature.
Credit: NASA / JPLCaltech
On July 8, NASAs ECOSTRESS instrument connected to the International Space Station captured surface temperature data over California. In the image (middle image), the red area that includes Death Valley has exceeded 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) at 7 a.m. local time, which is much higher than the area’s average surface temperature. On July 9,
, Death Valley recorded a high temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, which was only a few degrees lower than the official record of 134 degrees Fahrenheit set in 1913. On July 11, Bishop, California, set a record of 111 degrees Fahrenheit and the furnace tube pit in California, setting a new record for an average daily temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Many other daily, monthly, and historical records were created in the interior areas of central and southern California and northern Arizona.

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