California threatened with severe heat records

Heat is expected to increase over parts of California this week, potentially setting new temperature records. The US National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings and advisories from Tuesday to Saturday due to “dangerously hot conditions,” with temperatures likely reaching triple digits in Fahrenheit.

Temperatures have already been rising in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys over the past weekend and are expected to continue climbing this week. Fresno is projected to be one of the hottest cities, with temperatures potentially exceeding 110°F (43°C) on multiple days. Death Valley might approach 130°F (54°C) towards the end of the week, a temperature reached only three times before—in 1913, 2020, and 2021. More broadly, temperatures will range from 100-110°F (38-43°C) between Tuesday and Saturday, with peak temperatures possibly hitting 115°F (46°C), which is 5-10°C above the average. Overnight, temperatures will offer little relief, dropping only to the mid-60s to low-80s °F (around 18-28°C).

In addition to the extreme heat, officials are warning of increased fire risks, especially in the first half of the week, due to strong winds and low humidity. Fires were already reported over the past weekend, including a 250-acre brush fire in Riverside County on Saturday. With the Fourth of July holiday this week, Cal Fire officials are urging residents to be cautious with fireworks due to their fire-starting potential.

Meanwhile, hurricane warnings have been issued for much of the Windward Islands in the Caribbean. Hurricane Beryl intensified rapidly from a tropical depression to a major (category 3+) hurricane in just 42 hours between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning, a rare event in the Atlantic Basin and unprecedented before September, which is the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. Beryl became a category 4 hurricane on Sunday, with sustained winds of 130 mph and higher gusts.

Beryl is expected to bring potentially catastrophic hurricane-force winds, a life-threatening storm surge, and damaging waves to the Windward Islands. Heavy rain, with up to 150 mm (6 inches) possible, is expected across Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and nearby islands by Tuesday. Beryl is projected to remain a powerful hurricane as it moves west-northwest through the Caribbean Sea later this week, though its exact path is uncertain.

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