climatic extremes overwhelm California

climatic extremes overwhelm California

climatic extremes overwhelm California

San Francisco firefighters battle the Mosquito Fire outside Sacramento, California on September 11, 2022.

The name of the county dates back to the gold rush: El Dorado. The “golden” country. Since September 6, this county in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, in Northern California, has been adorned mainly with the red, that of flames, and the black of charred trees. In a few days, the so-called “Mosquito Fire” plunged the region into a disaster that led to the evacuation of 11,000 inhabitants. With 17,000 acres devastated, it is already the second largest fire of the year in California. The plume of smoke was visible as far as San Francisco Bay, 200km to the west.

Once again, social media showed the terrifying images of pyrocumulus, the clouds created by the fires themselves, an atmospheric fungus that rose 12,000m into the sky on September 8 when the fire crossed the American River. Once again, the PG&E electric company has admitted that its activities may have something to do with the start of the fire. One of its transmission pylons was denied access by investigators in order to save clues.

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On Sunday the Mosquito Fire continued to pour into Lake Tahoe, a jewel of the Sierra Nevada, at an altitude of 1,850m, toxic smoke that caused the cancellation of the 18And edition of the Tour de Tahoe cycling competition, which attracted 1,500 participants.

The “hottest and longest” heat wave in history

In Southern California, however, firefighters who fought the Fairview Fire, an outbreak that devastated more than 11,300 acres and killed two people, 120 km southeast of Los Angeles, benefited from a truce on Saturday in temperatures, after ten days of a grueling heatwave. ” The hottest and the longest ” in the history of the state for a month of September, described the governor, Gavin Newsom.

Since the Labor Day holiday weekend in early September, many records have been broken, due to the immobilization of a heat dome over the Golden State. At Los Angeles airport, the thermometer rose to 38.8 ° C on 9 September, the highest measurement since 1984. In Sacramento, the state capital, the 1925 record was broken on 5 September, with 46.7 ° C. All the cities of the central valley experienced unprecedented temperatures for the month of September between 4 September and 9 September. In ten days, dozens of people were hospitalized in the San Francisco area.

California is used to extreme weather events. This beginning of September 2022 will be no less remembered. After a heat wave and fires, the state was very close to experiencing an extremely rare phenomenon along the west coast: a hurricane. While tropical storm season, which traditionally begins in early September, primarily affects the Gulf of Mexico region and the Atlantic, Hurricane Kay moved along Mexico’s Baja California coast and continued to the United States. , although the ocean temperature is much lower there.

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