The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

July 2, 2013

The climate context behind the deadly Arizona wildfire

(Continued)

Due to a combination of drought and record heat, 2012 saw one of the most destructive wildfire seasons on record, with 9.3 million acres going up in flames, the third-highest since 1960.

Over the shorter-term, firefighters battling the blaze may face more extreme heat through midweek, when temperatures may moderate slightly. Monthly and all-time temperature records have already been set across the West, including a high temperature of a scorching 129°F at Death Valley, Calif., on Sunday. That tied the all-time U.S. record for the highest temperature on record for the month of June, and came close to tying the record for the world’s hottest temperature, which is 134°F, set in Death Valley in 1913.

In Phoenix, even the overnight lows have been toasty, with an overnight low temperature of 91°F on June 30, for example, which tied the record-high minimum temperature for the date.

While individual heat waves have ties to short-term natural weather variability, increasingly common and intense heat waves are one of the most well-understood consequences of manmade global warming, since as global average surface temperatures increase, the probability of extreme heat events increases by a greater amount.

The heat this week poses a formidable obstacle for firefighters, since it affects wildfire behavior as well as human health. Heat is the No.1 weather-related killer in the U.S., according to the National Weather Service.

Text Only
AP story section
  • Iraq violence threatens OPEC's precarious balance NEW YORK (AP) -- The oil market has balanced out quite nicely for OPEC in recent years. Now, upheaval in Iraq shows that balance may be more precarious than it has seemed. Dramatic changes in oil production around the globe have offset each other ins

    June 13, 2014

  • Board of Trade Grain mixed, livestock mostly higher CHICAGO (AP) -- Grain futures were mixed Thursday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for July delivery was 1 cent higher at $5.9025 a bushel; July corn was 1.25 cents lower at $4.4075 a bushel; July oats were unchanged at $3.4625 a

    June 13, 2014

  • Health campaign among nation's costliest CHICAGO -- President Barack Obama's home state agreed to spend $33 million in federal money promoting his health care law, hiring a high-priced public relations firm for work that initially was mocked and spending far more per enrollee on television

    June 13, 2014

  • Some states roll back teacher tenure protections WASHINGTON (AP) -- Even before a judge's scathing ruling against California's teacher tenure policies, the once-sacred protections that make it harder to fire teachers already had been weakened in many states -- and even removed altogether in some pl

    June 13, 2014

  • Tigers' Scherzer outduels Sale CHICAGO -- Max Scherzer already has a Cy Young Award. Now he has a complete game. Scherzer tossed a three-hitter in his 179th career start for his first complete game and Victor Martinez hit his 16th homer to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 4-0 win over

    June 13, 2014

  • $40M casino for rural Iowa approved BURLINGTON (AP) -- The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has voted 3-2 to grant a license for a $40 million casino development that would be located in rural central Iowa. Supporters of the Jefferson casino burst into applause during a meeting in Bur

    June 13, 2014

  • Principal case leads to two hearings RED OAK -- Two hearings are planned related to a southwest Iowa school district's plan to fire a high school principal. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reported the effort to fire Red Oak High School Principal Jedd Sherman will be the subject of a

    June 13, 2014

  • U.S. split outgrows voting booth WASHINGTON (AP) -- Political polarization in America has broken out of the voting booth. A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds Americans are divided by ideology and partisanship not only when they cast ballots, but also in choosing where to

    June 13, 2014

  • Cubs' offense no help for Samardzija PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Samardzija has some advice his pitching brethren when it comes to facing streaking Andrew McCutchen. Don't. The way the Chicago Cubs' ace looks at it, trying to get the Pittsburgh Pirates' star out at the moment only opens yourself

    June 13, 2014

  • State to reopen Juvenile Home DES MOINES -- A district court judge on Wednesday ordered the state to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home, telling Gov. Terry Branstad he cannot unilaterally change a law approved by the state Legislature. Judge Scott Rosenberg said the home in Toledo was

    February 6, 2014

AP Video
Facebook
National News