A dangerous ‘Omega block’ is trapping scorching hot air over the US and Canada


The Northwestern United States and Pacific Canada are in the grips of a heat wave that the National Weather Service called “historic and dangerous” in a bulletin on Sunday (June 27). A weather anomaly called a “heat dome” is partially to blame.

In the last few days, multiple cities across Washington, Oregon, Northern California and British Columbia have seen scorching all-time heat records fall, including a reading of 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius) in Seattle on Sunday (June 27) — the city’s highest recorded temperature ever — and a high of 117 F (47 C) in Salem, Oregon, on the same day. In Portland, the city’s streetcar system had to cancel service for the day because the power cables were melting in the heat.

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