Next heat dome to build across Lower 48, aggravating drought, fires

The Extinction Chronicles

Andrew Freedman

Map showing red hues covering the U.S. and parts of Canada as another heat wave hits the region.

Computer model projection for temperature departures from average on July 28, 2021. (

A significant and far-reaching heat wave is poised to build across much of the continental U.S. during the next few weeks, and it could be the most expansive in the country so far during this unusually hot summer, aggravating drought and wildfires.

The big picture:Forests across the West are already burning at a scope andintensity that’s unusualfor this time of year. Drought data released Thursday showed that what is already the worst Western drought so far this century is only intensifying. Any additional heat will aggravate an already dire situation.

  • The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that 65.4% of the Western U.S. is in “extreme” to “exceptional” drought conditions, the two worst categories on the scale, up from 52.8% on June 1.
  • The only modest relief in sight is for parts of…

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