The Hottest Days on Record – So Far

These past few weeks have been brutal. First, we were dealt near-daily flash flood warnings, jeopardizing summer plans on a nightly basis. Now, we are dealing with blazing heat, with forecasts preparing us for what could be a very challenging, very long summer.

Heck, even as I’m writing this article, it is 90 degrees yet again outside, and we are looking down the barrel of two more days also reaching the low-to-mid 90s. This begs the questions: is this normal? If this has become the new normal – we should be concerned, right?

Over the Fourth of July holiday, the global temperature was tracked as higher than ever previously recorded, showing that this is not simply a regional phenomenon, but a cause for global concern. Unusually high temperatures have already continued into the second week of July, and with the severe rain & thunderstorms that have impacted the northeast over the past few weeks, our modern climate reality has become harder and harder to ignore.

“Earth warmed to the highest temperature ever recorded by human-made instruments when the average global temperature reached 17.18 degrees Celsius, or 62.92 degrees Fahrenheit, on Tuesday, as millions of Americans celebrated the Fourth of July, data from the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction shows,” ABC News reported.

While this may seem to be a temporary phenomenon to some, these trends are not new; this year’s June was the hottest on record as well. What does that mean for August and the remainder of our warmer months? Well, climate scientists have said to prepare for some more of the same.

“The record was broken at the same time that some regions in the southern United States are facing a weeks-long heat wave with dangerous temperatures, as well as intense heat domes occurring elsewhere in the world in places like China and North Africa,” ABC News continued. “Earth had the warmest June on record for air temperature and for sea surface temperature, but July and August could prove to be even hotter as El Niño continues to strengthen, Brian Brettschneider, a climate scientist based in Anchorage, Alaska, wrote on Twitter.”

While Connecticut is already seeing temperatures spike into the 90 degrees, elsewhere across the country, temperatures have risen to near uninhabitable levels. While high temperatures may be part of the MO of states such as Texas, climate scientists have reported that even the human body’s defense mechanisms against extreme weather are no longer able to properly function in such dire conditions.

“Several parts of the U.S. have had temperatures above 104 degrees over the last several weeks. Death Valley, California, reached 122 degrees on Monday, and temperatures in several Texas cities topped 110 degrees last week,” Aria Bendix of NBC News wrote. “Halsey, who personally participated in his experiments, said the environment at 50 degrees Celsius is ‘pretty grim,’ because not even sweat can cool you down.”

For those, including myself, who have the privilege to work in indoor, air-conditioned facilities, the harsh realities of the climbing temperatures don’t often hinder our abilities to complete our work or at-home responsibilities. However, for those who work primarily outdoors, these climate factors aren’t simply a hindrance. For these individuals, these factors can be dangerous, potentially even life-threatening.

“Farm workers are 35 times more likely to die of heat exposure than workers in other industries, according to the National Institutes of Health, but there is no federal heat standard that ensures their health and safety,” Walling wrote. “Climate change makes extreme heat more likely and more intense. Farm work is particularly dangerous because workers raise their internal body temperature by moving, lifting and walking at the same time they’re exposed to high heat and humidity, said Dr. Jonathan Patz, chair of health and the environment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.”

Many of those who work primarily outdoors are often the lifeblood of our social structure, whether they be farmers, construction teams, public works departments and others. However, unless we are to prepare for worsening conditions and ensure the safety & livelihood of all laborers, we may begin to see further disruptions to several facets of industry, particularly for farms and their workers.

“As Earth this week set and then repeatedly broke unofficial records for average global heat, it served as a reminder of a danger that climate change is making steadily worse for farmworkers and others who labor outside. Heat advisories and excessive heat warnings rolled out across much of the U.S., and farms in Oregon, Texas and much of the southern and central regions of the country were expected to see highs pushing 100 next week,” Melina Walling of the Associated Press reported.

For those in need of respite, the Town of Manchester has a variety of cooling centers & resources available to the general public. For further information, please visit the Town of Manchester’s hot weather resources.

Town buildings available during regular hours for anyone needing respite:

Resources for individuals who are at risk from the heat or unhoused and in need of assistance:

Additional Resources:

The sweet respite of fall may only be a few months away, but to many, the summer sun and heat is unavoidable. As the summer progresses, ensure that you are mindful of the new reality of our summers. Stay cool, stay hydrated, and please utilize the safety tools & resources offered by the Town of Manchester.

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