2021 Western North America heat wave

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2021 Western North America heat wave
Air temperature anomalies across North America on June 27, 2021, compared to 2014–2020 baseline
DateLate June 2021 (2021-06) – early July 2021 (2021-07)
LocationCanada, United States
TypeHeat wave
  • Up to 645 heat-related deaths in Canada
  • 164+ in the United States

An extreme heat wave affected much of Western North America in late June and early July of 2021. The heat affected Northern California, Idaho, Western Nevada, Oregon, and Washington in the United States, as well as British Columbia, and, later, Alberta, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, and Yukon, all in Canada.[1]

It resulted in some of the highest temperatures ever recorded in the region, including the highest temperature ever measured in Canada at 49.6 °C (121.3 °F), as well as the highest temperatures in British Columbia, in the Northwest Territories, and Washington.[2]

The heat wave caused many huge wildfires, some reaching hundreds of square kilometers in area, which led to widespread disruption on the roads. One of them largely destroyed Lytton in British Columbia, the village where the record-high temperature for Canada had been set. The heat also caused damage to the road and railway infrastructure, forced closures of businesses, disrupted cultural events and caused widespread melting of snow on the mountains, some of which resulted in flooding.

The exact death toll is unknown. On July 6, 2021, preliminary statistics released by the British Columbia Coroner Service suggested 579 more sudden deaths than usual happened there.[3] Deaths in the United States include at least 107.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. Dickson, Courtney (June 25, 2021). "Western Canada heat wave expected to break daily, all-time temperature records". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on June 26, 2021. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
  2. Berardelli, Jeff (June 27, 2021). "Pacific Northwest bakes under once in a millennium heat dome". CBS News. Archived from the original on June 27, 2021. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  3. "Deaths more than doubled on Island during heat wave, preliminary data show". Times Colonist. 2021-07-05. Archived from the original on 2021-07-07. Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  4. Stites, Sam; Thompson, Jeff (2021-07-02). "Oregon enacts rules to protect workers as heat wave death toll continues to rise". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Archived from the original on July 7, 2021. Retrieved 2021-07-07.