Heat Dome to Bring Intense Heat Wave for Millions Across the US

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As summer officially begins next week, the United States will experience a formidable display of its warming climate with the arrival of an expansive and exceptionally strong heat dome. This phenomenon is set to affect millions, bringing an intense heat wave over the Eastern US, and extending to the Midwest and Great Lakes regions throughout the week.

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Understanding a Heat Dome

A heat dome occurs when a high-pressure ridge builds over an area and remains stationary for up to a week or more. This high pressure results in fair weather with abundant sunshine and minimal cloud cover, causing the air beneath to sink and warm up, leading to rising temperatures. The “dome” effect traps the air, preventing it from escaping, which intensifies the heat, often to uncomfortable or dangerous levels. Most heat records are set during such conditions, and the ongoing climate crisis is expected to make these heat domes more frequent and severe.

Escalating Temperatures

The eastern half of the country began to feel the initial effects of this heat wave on Friday, but this is just a precursor to what lies ahead. The powerful heat dome will lead to the first significant heat wave of the year for many regions. With air trapped and heated under continuous sunshine, temperatures will steadily climb each day, reaching levels hotter than the typical summer peak.