Some facts about deaths due to heat waves

We have a strong, but not unprecedented, heat wave gripping the central USA. NOAA made this video animation to show the breadth of it, which I converted to YouTube so everyone could view it:

NOAA’s description of this video:

A shroud of high pressure has taken a foot-hold over the U.S. from the Plains to the Northeast, and with it has brought temperatures well into the 90’s and 100’s for half of the country. This animation shows the predicted daily high temperatures from NOAA’s high resolution North American Model (NAM) from July 13-21, 2011.

NOAA writes: Dangerous heat grips Central U.S. Forecast to also affect East

Unhealthy levels of heat and humidity are encompassing much of central U.S. from the Southern Plains through the upper Midwest and this sultry heat will move east this week into the mid-Atlantic and Southeast, according to NOAA’s National Weather Service.

Temperatures in the 90s to near 100 degrees will feel as hot as 115 degrees or higher when factoring in the high humidity. Record high temperatures are likely to be set in some locations — adding to the more than 1000 records that have been set or tied so far this month.

“This heat is dangerous on many levels,” said Jack Hayes, director of the National Weather Service. “Temperatures and humidity levels are high, the heat will be prolonged, and very warm temperatures overnight won’t provide any respite. All of these factors make this an unhealthy situation, especially those in the upper Midwest who are not accustom to such heat.”

No quibbles there, a large blocking high like we saw last year in Russia is stubbornly fixated over the central USA. The media however, is on another story.

Don Penim writes in tips and notes:

Hot topic. Here we go again.

The Media is loving this heat wave. According to this CNN report :

“The National Weather Service notes that typically extreme heat is the biggest weather-related killer in the United States, taking about 115 lives each year.”

http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/07/18/heat.wave/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Not according to the data, see:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/18/the-deadliest-us-natural-hazard-extreme-cold/

Also this:
In an article entitled, “The impact of global warming on health and mortality,” published in the Southern Medical Journal in 2004, W.R. Keatinge and G.C. Donaldson of Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of London note:

“Cold-related deaths are far more numerous than heat-related deaths in the United States, Europe, and almost all countries outside the tropics, and almost all of them are due to common illnesses that are increased by cold.”

“From 1979 to 1997, extreme cold killed roughly twice as many Americans as heat waves, according to Indur Goklany of the U.S. Department of the Interior,” Singer and Avery write. “Cold spells, in other words, are twice as dangerous to our health as hot weather.”

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Does_Hot_weather_or_cold_weather_cause_more_deaths#ixzz1SWXgP7qR

============================================================

Here’s Goklany’s report Deaths and Death Rates from Extreme Weather Events: 1900-2008 (PDF). This table pretty well sums it up:

UPDATE: some historical perspective

Dallas-Fort Worth heat wave of 1980 still seared into memories

11:50 PM CDT on Friday, August 6, 2010

By DAVID FLICK / The Dallas Morning News
Friday marked the seventh day in a row that temperatures in the Dallas area reached at least 100 degrees, but it was not what some people would call hot.

Those people – that is, people who remember Dallas during the summer of 1980 – can tell you about hot.

It was 30 years ago this week that a 42-day string of 100 degree days – the longest heat wave by far in the region’s history – was broken. For one day. More triple digits followed, and when autumn mercifully arrived, temperatures had hit the century mark 69 times.

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88 Responses to Some facts about deaths due to heat waves

  1. notaname0000 says:

    Thanks for converting the video. I usually read your site from my iPhone, so it is vey restrictive on what videos it will play and YouTube is one of the few it allows. You may have a bigger smart phone following than you realize so it’s good to keep this site mobile friendly.

  2. Eric says:

    I sent a correction request to CNN…I will post whatever response I get back.

  3. pat says:

    My wife mentioned this earlier to me. Of course she was elated. The humidity. This means good harvests down the road. In fact if you are growing summer crops at this time, the water content of the lower atmosphere is near perfect.

  4. David Falkner says:

    Really, I would say that the temperature related deaths are deaths that are comparable to warning folks about an oncoming hurricane and those people ignoring the warning. I exercise regularly. My weight training is done indoors (I’d arm wrestle Bastardi ;P), and in some weather instances, my cardio is done indoors also. I decided to run outside in my area of Ohio today. It was an impressively oppressive heat. I ran in a forested area, so I had shaded and lit areas to compare. The shaded areas were hot. Very hot. The sunlit areas were just brutal. I wouldn’t compare the heat factor to the Mojave (been there? It is H-O-T!!), but it was up there. The real killer was the humidity. I felt like a lobster in a pot in the sunlight. Just glad I was smart enough to bring frozen water.

    A person in bad shape physically exerting themselves outside without the proper hydration would definitely perish in the conditions we are experiencing. However, ignoring the multiple, repeated, and ever prevalent warnings is a choice people make. I am blaming no one, just saying that if you choose to ignore the weather conditions and your own state of personal health, you take that risk. And the cold/hot related deaths make that readily apparent. Now, I am going to read this PDF. The attribution factors are crucial to things like this. What’s a ‘cold’ death? What’s a ‘hot’ death?

    Thanks for the YouTube video, too. And what happened to your break? :-)

  5. David Falkner says:

    Also, in my previous comment I would not solely attribute temperature related deaths to levels of exertion and levels of fitness, but I think those are under attributed factors. In an increasingly obese country, it’d be expected to see heat related AND cold related deaths rise because the temperature extremes put a less efficient metabolic structure under more pressure.

  6. Roger Carr says:

    A heartfelt sorry, America — at 100F these days I slow real down and so feel for y’all.

    My second sorry is that this “large blocking high like we saw last year in Russia is stubbornly fixated over the central USA” will be giving the alarmists unwarranted ammunition to progress their agenda.

  7. David Falkner says:

    Also, in my previous comment I would not solely attribute temperature related deaths to levels of exertion and levels of fitness, but I think those are under attributed factors. In an increasingly obese country, it’d be expected to see heat related AND cold related deaths rise because the temperature extremes put a less efficient metabolic structure under more pressure.

    Now, I am sorry, I was hoping it would be explained in the body of the paper, but I see it is foot noted to other sources. I would like to do the checking up on this, but I have some sleep to get and some analysis to do, so I will not be doing that soon. Still, I wonder how the attributions were done. As a ‘drive-by’ questioner (I guess you can call me that) that is the area I would look at in the table. Otherwise, yes cold-related deaths do out pace hot-related deaths. But I would be much more worried about cardiovascular diseases in the attributions I saw. (29.34[??]%)

  8. David Falkner says:

    Whoops, not sure how I posted half my comment! Sorry!

  9. goldie says:

    These sort of temperatures occur every year in Perth, Western Australia. There are some important things to remember about temperatures like this including, never leave town without lots of water, even if its only a short trip and, if your carbreaks down don’t leave it unless you are absolutely certain you can find rescue nearby. Also, of course folks need to remain hydrated at all times and head to the mall if it gets too unbearable – they have aircons. If nothing else, at night if you cant sleep take a cool shower and go back to bed wet.

  10. Huth says:

    Cold or hot weather is just an exacerbating factor in deaths during either. People who die of cold-related deaths, usually have a health issue such as pneumonia or their immune system is wearing out (they do as you grow older) and the cold is the last straw in an already weakened system. Likewise, people who die because of heat are usually not taking sensible precautions. Sometimes, perhaps, they can’t. Millions of people live in the kind of heat this post is talking about ALL THE TIME! It’s not adapting that’s the problem.

  11. Gary Hladik says:

    OMG, a heat wave! We’ve never had one of those before!

  12. Jimbo says:

    But, but the weather is getting weirder, it’s crazy weather maaaan! Look, they keep telling us that cold related deaths is just the weather, yet heat related deaths are due to climate change global warming. ;O)

    AGW does time travel.
    The Bulletin – Jul 25, 1936
    “Heat Wave Toll Over 12,000 in 86 Cities in Week”

    The Edinburgh Advertiser – Dec 24, 1824
    1824 Flood Killed 30,000 In Russia

    more disasters from the past

    H/t Steven Goddard’s Bad Weather Page from the past

  13. Josh says:

    @goldie

    I second that. A few years back I helped out at the lunch break at the cricket (2006/7 Ashes). Got heatstroke after 10 minutes out on the WACA ground at 50C+. Was not a pretty site in the tunnel back to the change rooms.

    Handling extreme heat is generally about using your head as there are many ways of mitigating it. Unfortunately even here people who should know better forget or get lazy and get caught out. Including me at the cricket despite drinking plenty of water all day, wearing a hat and sun screen.

    I’m just glad I work in the air conditioning industry in an air conditioned office, doing our bit for the plants by running the system as low as it can go and racking up the kW.


    First comment after lurking about for few weeks. Love your work Anthony, et al.

  14. John Marshall says:

    We have friends in Austin, Texas who are complaining about the high temperatures and that they can only water their lawn once every two weeks. We could do with some warm weather in the UK where July is wet and cool, 13-19C. The rest of N. Europe is also cooler than usual.
    Texas is a desert region which the locals seem to forget and water shortages due more to the great expansion in population than shortage of rain.

  15. Hugh Pepper says:

    Anthony, it serves no useful purpose to marginalize the risks of heat related deaths by comparing a particular heat phenomenon to a particular cold phenomenon. Both can be extremely dangerous, especially to those portions of the population who are vulnerable.

  16. P Wilson says:

    several years ago I read that the ration of deaths due to cold:heat extremes is 6:1 – that for every death due to extreme heat, there are 6 due to extreme cold. In other words, 6 times as many people die in a cold climate than a warm one, though I can’t recall the source

  17. davidmhoffer says:

    Oh for gosh sakes, the death rate hasn’t changed in centuries.

    It is one to a person, just like it always was. Nothing’s changed.

  18. Annie says:

    Isn’t it summer over there? It is supposed to be here too, though I am sitting here with cold hands!

  19. Mooloo says:

    Hugh Pepper says:

    Anthony, it serves no useful purpose to marginalize the risks of heat related deaths by comparing a

    So many people who cannot read!

    Go look what Anthony says, and in particular the “no quibbles” part.

    Later Don Penim notes that CNN are telling lies when they compare the heat events to cold events, saying the heat is worse. CNN started the comparing. Don was only correcting them.

  20. Beesaman says:

    Ah well, on other side of the pond over here in the UK it hasn’t really stopped raining since the Met office declared a drought in May. Timing it would seem, is everything.

  21. Katherine says:

    @Hugh Pepper
    Anthony and co. are not marginalizing the risks of heat-related deaths. They’re pointing out the factual error in the CAGW-scare-mongering statement: “The National Weather Service notes that typically extreme heat is the biggest weather-related killer in the United States, taking about 115 lives each year.” and providing evidence to support their contention.

    Really, since “climate change” is supposed to result in more extreme weather and mortality from extreme cold is over 85% higher than that from extreme heat, wouldn’t more people be saved by worrying about the consequences of a chillier climate?

  22. Brian Hall says:

    Josh;
    I wonder if cricket was the inspiration for the verse, “Only mad dogs and Englishmen / Go out in the noonday sun!”

  23. bushbunny says:

    Goldie said on 19 July. Well goldie we Ozzies are pretty tough really. We get great fluctuations in temperature each day all over the continent. The nearer the sea the more humidity one can expect everyone will agree. And humidity depletes more than dry air because you sweat a lot of salt and fluids out as you drink more. Just a example (forgive me for preaching to the converted), I’ve lived in four or five climate zones. Bermuda, UK (North, South and East) Cyprus (the Levant) Egypt and Australia, (in Sydney and on the higher altitudes on the Northern Slopes, Tamworth, and Northern tablelands Armidale (where it snowed yesterday) 3,500 ft absl. The hottest place by far and most unpleasant was Bermuda would you believe? Humid as hell like Malaya in the summer and cold in the winter – the coldest I had suffered since UK being 39 F. When I was 8 months pregnant in Sydney 1968. We had excess of 100 F for two weeks, then a Southerly buster came up with a storm and the temperature dropped to 65 F in one hour and we were donning cardigans again. Sydney winters were like English summers. So being cold will stress humans badly, although if you are stranded in the outback without water you’ll die in 48 hours if you start walking to find help. In hot Mediterranean countries in their summers including the middle east, they have a siesta between 2 – 4 pm. What’s the cliche ‘Only mad dogs and English men go out in the midday sun’. From the Raj days I suspect before air conditioning.
    The Great Plains are an arid area, well I thought they were, so a bit of humidity probably heralds
    rain too, that they will enjoy. Horses for courses I suspect, but we have become hot house flowers in UK and now electricity is so expensive especially if they incorporate carbon taxes then
    we better start acclimatising to a colder climate if harsh winters are now expected in the Northern Hemisphere.

  24. Antonia says:

    Anthony,

    Aren’t you supposed to be having a break? Turn the computer off. Attend to your business. Cherish your family.

    Yes, we all go a bit gaga when you don’t post but please, Anthony, understand that while no one is indispensable, every person is irreplaceable.

    Antonia

  25. Bruce Cobb says:

    Hugh Pepper says:
    July 20, 2011 at 2:00 am

    Anthony, it serves no useful purpose to marginalize the risks of heat related deaths by comparing a particular heat phenomenon to a particular cold phenomenon. Both can be extremely dangerous, especially to those portions of the population who are vulnerable.
    It is useful in that it takes the wind out of the sails of warmistas who conveniently ignore the fact that cold is responsible for about twice as many deaths as heat.
    Another interesting fact is that by forcing energy prices higher, the warmistas are responsible for an even higher death rate among those least able to afford those higher energy bills. But hey, it’s for the planet, right?

  26. nature says:

    see blogs from Prof Guy Mcpherson for what is really happening.

    http://guymcpherson.com/

  27. Hu McCulloch says:

    Yes, but after you attribute all the floods, lightning, hurricanes and tornadoes to AGW, the total heat-caused deaths are neck and neck with cold! ;-)

    Seriously, though, summer heat is oppressive and sometimes deadly, especially in urban areas that can pile several degrees of UHI on top of the heat that’s already there. This is one more reason to use dollar-saving aluminumized roofing on apartment buildings: Not only does your own building run cooler, but the overall UHI is probably reduced a little, both because of reflection and because everyone isn’t burning as much AC.

  28. If you divide the number of excess heat deaths by the years given for that table you get almost 400 deaths per year, not 115. Maybe they’re using a different metric than you?

    Also, I would love to know how this heat wave compares to other historical US heat waves, if such data exists.

  29. henrythethird says:

    Roger Carr said: (July 19, 2011 at 11:40 pm)
    “…A heartfelt sorry, America — at 100F these days I slow real down and so feel for y’all.

    My second sorry is that this “large blocking high like we saw last year in Russia is stubbornly fixated over the central USA” will be giving the alarmists unwarranted ammunition to progress their agenda…”

    And, just as that Russian heat wave was found to NOT be related to GW (according to that NOAA CSI team), so will this one.

    But we’ll never hear about the “well, maybe it wasn’t GW after all” report in the MSM.

  30. Jay says:

    Of course, this past year the US has also experienced extremes of cold, extremes of wet, extreme storms and now extremes of heat.

    All are present and correct in a warming world. Picking and choosing favourites between them seems to be missing the point somewhat.

    And of course, in summer, I think you’ll find that excessive heat is far more likely to be a cause of negative health impacts than cold.

  31. Martin Brumby says:

    “A shroud of high pressure has taken a foot-hold over the U.S………”

    OK, how’s BigWind doing there? Anyone got some Central US wind generation figures?

  32. Jay says:

    Apologies for double posting. But it does also occur that many cold countries such as those in Scandinavia have high life expectancy. Cold isn’t so much the problem in and of itself, so much as a society that isn’t well adapted to cold being hit by a harsh cold spell.

    Perhaps the US should re-engineer its cities and communities to be well adapted for all weather events all the time…

  33. Lonnie E. Schubert says:

    Regarding Huth’s comment, it is only partially correct. Heat excacerbates. Most heat related deaths are in those who are infirm. There are visible dips in the death data after strong heat waves. Not so with cold. Yes, cold tends to kill the infirm, but it kills the otherwise healthy too. Death data tends to return to normal without appreciable dips after cold spells.

    As I see it, cold kills. Warmer is better.

  34. Garacka says:

    How can some get the impression that Anthony is marginalizing the risks of heat versus cold related deaths?

  35. Bernie says:

    It is the careless squirrel that gets eaten by the fox.

  36. Theo Goodwin says:

    This heat wave is not unprecedented by any means. Having lived in St. Louis for 24 years, some years ago, I can tell you that mid-July through August is dreaded by everyone and daily high temperatures are expected to range from 95 to 100.

    Stationary High Pressure Zones are a disaster. There was one over St. Louis in the summer of 1980 that gave the city more than sixty consecutive days of highs above 90. There were many days with a high of 100 or so. The “comfort factor” was around 115 at times. My partner and I played tennis outdoors from 11 to 1 daily through all this. I have seen stationary highs wreak havoc for Dallas and that region, without affecting St. Louis.

    The cause for these high temps is one or more stationary highs. If one is going to blame AGW then one has to establish that AGW causes or worsens stationary highs.

    And, remember, according to Warmista, AGW cannot cause higher highs but can only extend the cooling period in the evening causing lower lows (or more slowly achieved lows). Once the forcings are known we can be clearer about all this.

  37. Grace says:

    Are those statistics for excess cold deaths right? According to the UK government we get 25,000 – 50,000 excess winter deaths a year here.

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=574

  38. LKMiller says:

    Meanwhile, here in the central Willamette Valley of Oregon, my tomatoes have yet to set a single fruit.

    Please, for the love of God, send some of that warming westward!

  39. LarryT says:

    if you want to increase the heat/cold related death rates all you need to do is to decrease the availability of electricity like they did in england last winter.

  40. henrythethird says:

    31.Jay said (July 20, 2011 at 4:49 am)

    “…Of course, this past year the US has also experienced extremes of cold, extremes of wet, extreme storms and now extremes of heat.

    All are present and correct in a warming world. Picking and choosing favourites between them seems to be missing the point somewhat…”

    But when we point out the “extremes of cold, extremes of wet, extreme storms and now extremes of heat” that happened in the past, those are all just examples of “weather variability”.

  41. C.M. Carmichael says:

    Here is a link thats tells the wind story for Ontario during this brutal heat. http://www.sygration.com/gendata/today.html

  42. bill johnston says:

    To Martin Brumby 4:56AM.
    I drove east on I-90 from central South Dakota to south central Minnesota. Several hundred miles. From White Lake, SD east to near Fairmont, MN, there are hundreds of windmills. SD is rated #5 in wind power potential. I do not recall seeing ANY of those windmills turning. None. Lack of motion caught my attention.

  43. Huth says:

    Lonnie, point understood. Thanks

  44. Andrew says:

    To everyone, I think what must be kept in mind is that the studies you have quoted, while finding that more people die when it is cold than hot (basically, that summer has less deaths than winter) but this is quite different from relating either actual cold or hot events to actual elevated mortality. The apparent seasonality of mortality is not due to cold weather per se, rather it is mainly attributable to the tendendcy of people to remain in doors more in the colder months, in closed spaces where they are more likely to spread infections like influenza to one another. And colder winters have not be found to be associated with worse flu outbreaks, so the connection of flu deaths to cold weather is weak at best.

    A much more pertinent fact about heat waves and mortality is that, in fact, it has been declining throughout US cities since the 60s/70s, inspite of plenty of warming of US cities during that period.

    Davis, R. E., P. C. Knappenberger, P. J. Michaels, and W. M. Novicoff, 2004. Seasonality of climate-human mortality relationships un US cities and impacts of climate change. Climate Research, 26, 61-76.

    Davis, R. E., P. C. Knappenberger, P. J. Michaels, W. M. Novicoff, 2003. Changing heat-related mortality in the United States. Environmental Health Perspectives, 111, 1712-1718.

  45. bushbunny says:

    LK Miller at 20/7 5 pm. Yeah, you know why, the night temps are too low. I had two tomatoes this year. Plenty of flowers though and the fruit didn’t set. Plenty of those tiny ones but even they were not ripening. Ah well – I am not trying next year I’ll buy from the supermarket.

  46. Pascvaks says:

    Been SUPERHOT and SUPERCOLD. Prefer SUPERHOT. But it is a lot harder if you’re not aclimatized to the weather. Going from AC 70F to No AC 110F and high humidity is a real kick in the teeth, no doubt about it.

  47. James Sexton says:

    Jay says:
    July 20, 2011 at 4:58 am
    ………………..
    Perhaps the US should re-engineer its cities and communities to be well adapted for all weather events all the time…
    ============================================================

    Jay, it isn’t a matter of engineering. Its a matter of personal expectations and sensibility. This heat wave, while awful, isn’t unprecedented. In my area, our average max temp so far this month is 98.3 F. If this remains it won’t even finish in the top 5 years of the last century. Here’s the history of a town nearby. http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_ChanuteMartinJohnsonArpt_Chanute_KS_July.html

    I remember 1980. It was the first full year after my dad retired from the Army. He bought the house my grandfather built. A beautiful 3 story 5 bedroom brick farmhouse. One window A/C unit downstairs for the entire house. Us kids, (4 of us) slept upstairs. Compared to then, this ain’t sh…t. But, some people have no sense about them and some can’t help themselves, such as the elderly.(They are often much chagrin to ask for help.) It is a matter of staying hydrated. Don’t exert yourself during the heat of the day, and avoid being directly in sunlight. (Even if it doesn’t feel particularly cooler, shade is a good thing.) If one does these things, they’ll be fine, even in much warmer environments.

    Be sure to check in on the elderly and handicapped.

  48. Douglas DC says:

    Here in NE Oregon we are having a no tomato summer let alone a green tomato summer.
    Snow is still in the high country. finally. Melting some but I will say we will see it around for next winter..

  49. TERRY46 says:

    It’s called summer.Happens every year

  50. Barton Sprung says:

    “Texas is a desert region which the locals seem to forget and water shortages due more to the great expansion in population than shortage of rain.”

    I am a Texas native so feel qualified to respond to this calumny. Real Texans know the importance of water, perhaps b/c it’s not found here (Texas has only one natural lake, and it’s shared with Louisiana). The “locals” referred to above must be the (legal) immigrants.from the North mostly, who still find it novel that it’s so effing hot and dry in July. We hear them complain and wonder why they came. We remember the infamous summer of 1980, which put the lie to the then-current meme of global cooling. They should have been here for that one!

  51. Latitude says:

    Good grief……we’re letting 24 hour news and the weather channel turn us all into a bunch of whiny weak children…………………

  52. Sharpshooter says:

    Here, just outside Phoenix, we’ve been below average; 94 yesterday and last week was only in the 90s. Normal for us this time of year is 105-106F

  53. Paul Milenkovic says:

    Just one minor quibble about a great map.

    Here is Wisconsin, the weather maps show the various Wisconsin towns and their temperatures and other conditions, but when you cross the border with a neighboring state, boy, we are talking about a weather and news blackout. It is kind of like the DMZ between South and North Korea that is like civilization ends at the border with Upper Michigan.

    For the map shown here, there is all manner of detail of the continental U.S., but cross south into Mexico or north into Canada, it is like there are no weather stations. Or worse yet, if a major tropical storm avoids a U.S. coastline but meanders off into Mexico, whew!, we missed that one!

    OK, OK, maybe I am taking international PC and anti US chauvinism too far, but it would be a more complete picture to see how that heat pattern relates to conditions extending to the south and to the north.

  54. Taphonomic says:

    Warmer than usual in Denver, CO. Cooler than usual in Las Vegas, NV. Temps usually hit 117 degrees or above in Las Vegas in summer.

    How do people survive?

  55. Larry in Texas says:

    John Marshall says:
    July 20, 2011 at 1:47 am

    Take it from me, a former attorney for Dallas Water Utilities. Parts of Texas, particularly in the West and South (especially east and south of El Paso), are desert. That isn’t the case in most of the rest of Texas, especially North Texas which experienced higher than normals for rain in the spring, unlike places south of about Waco. Yes, it is true that Texas is a relatively arid region. But generally, lake and water levels in most of Texas have fluctuated because of individual rainfall trends and not so much from population levels. Per capita consumption of water is much lower in San Antonio, for example, than in Dallas, and San Antonio has been growing at more or less the same rate as Dallas has the past 15 years or so. So it is not necessarily population levels that have caused the problem. And Texans are much more aware of their limitations when it comes to water; we have one of the most comprehensive water planning and regulatory schemes in the United States.

  56. PRD says:

    I’ve lived in NW Louisiana and SE Texas my entire life. We always have to wonder when they start talking about heat waves and show people gasping at 95 deg. F in Chicago, New York, etc. I’m a bit young to remember the 1980 heat wave, but the later ones I remember quite well. I recall many days it reached over 105 in Shreveport and was working outdoors on a roof 32′ off the ground when it was reaching 120 on the roof. Guys were scalding hands and arms on the metal structures. Was it uncomfortable? Heck yes! Did we work in it? If we wanted a paycheck we did. It’s as much about adaptation as anything else. I concur that the elderly and infirm will have more difficulty adapting, but the young that sit inside playing X-Box, Wii, etc. for three months out of the summer in the A/C have no idea of the outdoor summer fun they are missing out on because their parents are scared that little Susie/Johnie just can’t make it in that heat…

  57. James Sexton says:

    Latitude says:
    July 20, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Good grief……we’re letting 24 hour news and the weather channel turn us all into a bunch of whiny weak children…………………
    =========================================

    Yep the only weather weirding I see is more akin to weather whining……apparently people believe it should be 70-80 degrees every day with light rain(only when we’re inside) mixed with sunshine when we’re outside.

  58. TXRed says:

    I’m in the Texas Panhandle, on the short grass steppe or High Plains as it is often called. We’re located over 1000 m and have been “enjoying” the dome of high pressure since March with temperatures in the 100s. Wallace Stegner, the writer and historian of the US West, referred to this area as “a semi-desert with a desert heart” and this year is proving him correct. We’ve had a fire fatality but no heat deaths yet. As others have said, stay hydrated, check up on people and know your limits.

  59. Pete in Cumbria UK says:

    115 people per year?
    I’ll wager that more people choke on salt-n-pepper sachets in McDonald’s every year.
    And lets say 100 million US taxpayers/consumers are paying how much already? Is it 1,000, 5,000 or 10,000 dollars annually in tax and increased prices already to try and save these people? How much is that? A trillion dollars, annually, to save 100 people that were either gonna croak soon anyway or be classed as ‘Darwinian Failures’
    Madness.

  60. SteveSadlov says:

    The pattern in the upper midwest has actually been progressive. Although there have been some warm days, it has passed quickly. In truth, only the SE quadrant of the country has had persistent warmth. The entire northern tier has experienced one mid latitude storm system after another. And meanwhile the West Coast is being robbed of a real summer. Climatic Autumn (granted, early Autumn but Autumn nonetheless) is already here on the West Coast. The Pacific High is prog’ed to all but break down next week.

  61. SteveSadlov says:

    PRD says:
    July 20, 2011 at 8:54 am

    ==========================

    Versus 50 years ago there is far more obesity, and, an immense fraction of the masses who have either hormonal imbalances, drug addictions or both. All of these factors result in individuals who break a major sweat at 65 Deg F / 65%RH. It’s amazing, even here on the SF Peninsula many newbs and young folk are putting in AC. When I was a kid no one had AC, only people inland had it.

  62. Jon in TX says:

    I didn’t live in TX in 1980 but my first full summer was 1998, which is generally regarded as the second worst summer in TX. That year, we had 29 consecutive days over 100, broken by a 99 degree day, and a total of 56 days over 100. We also had 14 consecutive days where the min temp was above 80 degrees. Finally, over a 91 day stretch, we received a total of .46 inches of rain.

    This year is no exception, as we are in day 17 of +100 temps and a total of 23 overall. Forecasts show another 5 before it cools off to the upper 90’s. Long-range models finally indicate a bit of a change around the first part of Aug but we’ll see.

  63. Al Gored says:

    Run! Run for your lives!!!

    “Global warming could create 150 million ‘climate refugees’ by 2050

    Environmental Justice Foundation report says 10% of the global population is at risk of forced displacement due to climate change”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/03/global-warming-climate-refugees?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

    No… wait. Just walk. Running in this heat could put you ‘at risk.’

  64. Gary Pearse says:

    Yesterday The Weather Network claimed record hot Ts hit Winnipeg (home of winny the poo) reaching 36C. TWN typically tack on 2C – other sources report 349- still warm (93F). As a papar boy late 40s-early 50s I recall T reaching 100+ in mid summer almost every year. This kind of July heat has been a long time fixture from TX-NM-AZ to southern Saskatchewan-Manitoba. I remember a few 105s. Yes and in January -35-40 six months later. The hum-a-ditty index and wimp-chill factor hadn’t been invented yet. We just drank a little more lemonade and hot chocolate – yes I’m old enough to remember these antique beverages. ‘Course that was back when men were men and the women loved it. Oops political correctness’ll probably snip this out.

  65. Power Grab says:

    Jay says:
    July 20, 2011 at 4:58 am
    Perhaps the US should re-engineer its cities and communities to be well adapted for all weather events all the time…
    ===================================
    LOL – that’s why we use so much coal and oil

  66. I wish we had some of that heat in Kamloops as the weather here has been the rainiest that I’ve ever seen it and only my raspberries seem to like the rain. Haven’t had any of my patients hospitalized with hyponatremia as is usually the case when we get our summer temperatures of 100+ degrees F (with low humidity it feels great).

    While thinking about heat related illnesses today was wondering how much the “no salt” public health message is contributing. Someone who is out of condition physically tends to produce sweat with high Na content and that Na needs to be replaced. I’ve found many of my elderly patients who end up in hospital hyponatremic during the summer haven’t been using extra salt because they were told “salt is bad”. These hospitalized patients are all on diuretics which exacerbates their Na losses.

    The other interesting factor in populations with European origins is that 4-5% of the population is heterozygous for the chloride channel mutation that causes cystic fibrosis in homozygotes. This mutation is associated with increased Na losses in sweat even with physical conditioning and such individuals have far higher salt requirements in the heat than those who don’t have this mutation. The salt requirements of affected football players working out in the summer in the SE US were up to 25 gm/day of salt.

    So maybe we shouldn’t be blaming “climate change” but rather a clueless public health system that has irresponsible public messages such as avoiding salt. When I used to plant trees during the summer we were provided with salt tablets and I hate to think of what my Na losses were then as I’d drink about 2 gallons of water during a hot day and crave anything salty at night. Air conditioning is the best solution, but pricing electricity out of the range of what pensioners can afford is another way of increasing heat related mortality. Still, I’d rather have the heat than extreme cold.

  67. Power Grab says:

    One more thing – When it’s hot, people aren’t usually snowed in, unable to leave for a more comfortable environment. I can see how more people could die from the cold than from the heat. Of course, if the warmistas have their way and succeed in depriving the masses of the use of coal and oil, I predict more people will die from not only extreme cold and extreme heat, but also the inability to move elsewhere.

    I think that’s the point of this whole climate hoax. There are just too many really powerful people who think there are just too many people. Personally, I don’t see how they could have achieved their level of prosperity without the existence and activity of all those extra, “unnecessary” folks.

  68. DDP says:

    Quit bragging about your heat will ‘ya! Here in the UK we just had the coolest June in over a decade and July is also following suit. August last year was the flattest since 1993 so i’m not holding out for much of an improvement this year seeing as August is usually sucks. We haven’t had a decent August since 2003. BBQ summer my arse!

  69. SteveSadlov says:

    Boris Gimbarzevsky says:
    July 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I wish we had some of that heat in Kamloops as the weather here has been the rainiest that I’ve ever seen it and only my raspberries seem to like the rain.

    ==========================

    My Ollallaberrie crop is a complete disaster. Too little warmth too late. The bloom started late and continues. The berries that came in initially were OK however everything ripening since mid month is uneven, soft at the tips and unripe at the [stem]. Complete disaster!

  70. SteveSadlov says:

    Meanwhile, the MSM are doing their level worst to hype the Southern (and short term Mid Western) warmth. Shades of 1988 and 1993.

  71. I second what Andrew (July 20, 2011 at 6:34 am) says.

    For more perspective on why cold does not really cause more deaths than heat (despite what everyone seems to think), see these two articles:

    http://www.masterresource.org/2011/07/overplaying-heat-underplaying-adaptation-part-i/

    http://www.masterresource.org/2011/07/overplaying-heat-underplaying-adaptation-part-ii/

    -Chip Knappenberger

  72. Common Sense says:

    One thing I don’t see mentioned is how few Americans die during heat waves compared to Europe and elsewhere. A big part of that, I think, is because most Americans have air conditioning at home, and almost all commercial and public buildings also have air conditioning.

    The Dept of Energy Survey for 2005 stated that 84% of all Americans had air conditioning at home and 78.3% of poor people have air conditioning at home. I couldn’t find stats regarding Europe’s use, but the lack of air conditioning contributed to the deaths of 35,000 people, mainly in Germany, France, and Italy, during the 2003 heat wave.

    Like most people in the US, I grew up without air conditioning. We used open windows and fans. Fortunately, with the humidity so low in Colorado, it wasn’t too much of a problem, if we needed to be cool, we went to the movies, to the store, or to the mountains. It also cools down nicely at night, usually in the low 60s.

    We got a swamp cooler when I was pregnant with my second child, around 1990 and didn’t have air conditioning in a car until around then either. We used to joke about 2/60 air conditioning – 2 windows, 60 mph.

    The new house we bought in 2000 has central air, I love it. Not only is summer comfortable, it helps immensely with my allergies.

    It’s currently 90 here in the Denver area at 4:30pm, but the humidity is only 20%, quite tolerable.

    We should be thankful that we live in a country with a standard of living high enough that we can enjoy such comforts as air conditioning. The report also said that our poor people have more living square footage than the average (not poor) European, a TV, a DVD player, a microwave, and cable service. Quite a clear picture of the difference between capitalism and socialism, a difference that I would like to see retained.

  73. SteveSadlov says:

    Prog’s for a week out are really depicting a break down of the Pacific High. It may make a slight come back around Tuesday. Nonetheless, it’s remarkable that the High is this weak, so early in the Summer.

  74. Bernard says:

    Could someone send a bit of this heat to Central England please, it’s about 14c here at the moment. Is there a climate control quango somewhere that can promise bliss weather in the U.K. for a mere few £trillion in taxes.

  75. Bernard says:

    Bad mistake(A big sorry) in my post saying Climate Control,please delete before Government get Ideas.

  76. GaryP says:

    Monday and Tuesday, every time I walked outside from the air conditioned lab, my glasses steamed up to the point I had to take them off. Awesomely high dew point in Minnesota

    “The Twin Cities tied its all time highest dewpoint of 81 degrees Sunday night at 9 p.m. and then trumped it Tuesday at 3 p.m. when the dewpoint hit a tropical 82 degrees. The previous record prior to this week for the Twin Cities was in July of 1999. Both of those dew points occurred after rain had moved through allowing even more moisture to pool in the atmosphere.”

  77. 08jess says:

    This weather sucks but id rather have heat than cold.

  78. Bill Illis says:

    Global day-time highs on Land from July 4 to 11. (the high-resolution satellite temperature maps on land are always a little behind).

    Nothing to write home about. Probably more cold areas than warm areas.

    Since July 11, the warm area in the centre of North America would have expanded but the centre of non-tropical continents often have persistent warm or cold weather systems. This is how our climate operates and it has probably always done so.

  79. Henry chance says:

    I did 24 miles by mountain bike on Independence day and seemed to have less strength during the inclines at 105 degrees. I did need more hydration. I must be getting soft because I work in air conditioned office.

  80. Mike Fox says:

    Well, it’s notso hotso in the People’s Republic of Eugene, in the southern Willamette Valley, either. This da*n high pressure ridge in the Midwest gave us an inch of rain over the weekend, and it’s not supposed to rain here “after July 5,” as we like to brag.

    Our raspberries and lettuce are doing just fine, but it’s definitely gonna be a Year of the Green Tomato unless something turns around soon. Daytime temps in the 70s and cool nights. I s’pose it beats my native state of Texas (which I dearly love) on the comfort factor, however.

  81. Wayne Delbeke says:

    Ok – I need some help with how temperatures are recorded. I am watching the weather news and they are saying it was 36 degrees C in Ontario today but adjusted for humidity it was equivalent to 40 degrees C and therefore nearly a record for this day (the record was in 1935 in Yellowgrass Saskatchewan – south of Regina – at 45 degrees C where it was 23 today). But my question is: Are all temperatures adjusted for humidity? – I thought that was a recent development. So are we comparing apples an oranges or are media types just finding ways to make the temperatures appear higher? I can remember recording and adjusting for such things in various calculations in engineering work, but I don’t recall humidity having any affect on the thermal expansion of steel and concrete, only wood strength. From what I have read about the humididex and wind chill, they are irrelevant to the measured temperature but the media is playing it up big time. That so called near record local temperature was NOT a record at all without the humididex and below the 1935 record by 9 degrees …. yet the media were hyping it up like it was really hot. Should send them to Dubai for a few months.

  82. Blade says:

    Latitude [July 20, 2011 at 8:03 am] says:

    “Good grief……we’re letting 24 hour news and the weather channel turn us all into a bunch of whiny weak children…………………”

    Repeated for truth!

  83. John Crane says:

    How quickly ‘heat dome’ replaced ‘high pressure dome’ in the popular vernacular!
    The latter sounds natural while the former rings well….alarmist.

  84. Lee Crowley says:

    I immediately questioned the NWS claim that heat was the number one weather-related killer in the US. As an NWS employee, I thought I’d work my way up the chain to get an answer as to how the NWS can make that claim. I got an answer fairly quickly. This claim is based on deaths reported in the NWS Storm Data reports. So if a death isn’t reported to a local NWS office, it doesn’t get into Storm Data. Although I don’t agree with their methodology and believe it is inaccurate, I see how they can make that claim.

  85. G. Karst says:

    Generally, heat is not a significant killer, as long as sufficient rain accompanies it. Extended heat without rain has caused crop failures, which in turn has caused local famine, hence significant death in the past.

    Extended cold shortening/eliminating sufficient growing season has also caused crop failures and famine death. However cold is accompanied by virulent disease for both Man, critter and crop. This is when cold becomes a killer like NO other.

    Cold and ice is death personified.

    Thankfully, our energy grid has not failed – so far (no thanks to wind turbines) GK

  86. Shanghai Dan says:

    Huth wrote:

    Millions of people live in the kind of heat this post is talking about ALL THE TIME!

    Correct. For the last 30 days, we’ve had a heat index above 40 degrees, here in Shanghai. Go just 150km south, to Ningbo, and the heat index has been above 44 degrees for the last month. And that’s pretty normal for this part of the world – we usually spend from mid-June until mid-September with heat-index values above 37, every single day.

    It’s even worse in SE Asia – go to Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur in February when they have a “cold snap” of 70 degrees F (21 deg C). You’ll see Thai and Malay nationals bundled up in sweaters and coats and boots because it’s cold!

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