While the Pacific Northwest was setting new records for high temperatures in June, many other places across the globe also experienced unprecedented heat. Places in Russia and Scandinavia, including locations above the Arctic Circle, set new records for temperature.
The heatwave in Europe was the result of a persistent northward bulge in the polar jet stream. This blocking pattern in the jet stream has been prevalent over Scandinavia this year and has contributed to unusually warm conditions there. Further east, similar conditions have created unusual warm temperatures in Siberia.
On June 23, Moscow reached a high of 94.6 degrees, the hottest June temperature on record. Helsinki, Finland set a record at 89.1 degrees, and both Belarus at 96.3 degrees and Estonia at 94.3 degrees set new records. The town of Saskylah, north of the Arctic Circle in Siberia, measured almost 90 degrees on June 20.
High temperature records have been broken in many places. The all-time record high for June for all of Mexico fell at Mexicali in Baja California on June 17 when the temperature reached 125 degrees. Palm Springs, California, while known for its desert heat, nonetheless set a new all-time high temperature of 123 degrees and also set a new record for the warmest overnight low temperature for a June night anywhere in North America at an unbelievable 105 degrees.
Stories like this have become all-too common in recent years and are undoubtedly going to occur with greater frequency as the world’s climate continues to react to the growing buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Photo, posted June 8, 2007, courtesy of Niko Pettersen via Flickr.