Q: Is this related to the deadly Arizona fire?
A: “There’s most assuredly a link” between the heat wave and the fire, Jacks said. It gets hot with extremely dry air, and then a no-rain lightning strike ignites bone-dry fuel into a fire.
Q: Is this global warming?
A: No single event can be blamed solely on man-made global warming, scientists and meteorologists say. But this is the type of heat wave than scientists have long said will be more common as the world warms.
Some, but not all, scientists also theorize that the jet stream is having more of these crazy kinks lately because of a warming Arctic and melting sea ice.
Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann said there’s an element of randomness in the current weather. Yet with all-time heat records in the past few years being broken at three times the expected rate, he said, “there can be little doubt that climate change and global warming are playing a role.”
Online NOAA on heat waves: http://www.noaawatch.gov/themes/heat.php NOAA beating the heat tips: http://www.noaa.gov/features/earthobs--0508/heat.html CDC on heat waves: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/