Major heat records seem to light up on the scoreboard with hat tricks these days.
Thursday, July 6, registered as the world’s hottest day ever recorded, according to data compiled by the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer project.
The day’s global average temperature came in at 17.23°C, a remarkable value considering the depth of worldwide climate records and the fact that Antarctica is in the heart of its winter season.
This new record beat the old record of 17.18°C set on Tuesday, July 4, which itself only stood for about 24 hours after the now-third-place record of 17.01°C was set on Monday, July 3.
An alarming trend
Making history as the hottest day ever recorded is a feat in and of itself, but to set the record three times in a week is an astounding event that highlights the extent of the anomalous warmth we’re seeing around the world.
Much of the world’s ongoing heat is driven by sea surface temperatures coming in well above normal.
The Pacific Ocean is unusually warm these days as a growing El Niño develops across the region.
Water temperatures in the eastern Pacific off the coast of South America are several degrees above normal for this time of year, and conditions are getting warmer as El Niño settles in for the summer.
Sea surface temperatures over in the northern Atlantic Ocean are firmly in historic territory, according to climatologists and meteorologists who regularly track oceanic trends. Vast swaths of the Atlantic are coming in 1-2+ degrees above normal.
“Alarm bells are ringing especially loudly because of the unprecedented sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic,” the World Meteorological Organization’s Dr. Chris Hewitt said of the globe’s excessive heat in a release published by the agency this week.
This spell of historic Atlantic heat forced hurricane experts at Colorado State University to revise their predictions and call for an above-average hurricane season this year, bucking the usual trend of below-average activity we would typically see during an El Niño summer.
WATCH: Experts now expect an above-average Atlantic hurricane season
North America is roasting, with more heat on the way
While the heat is cranking worldwide, North America is taking the brunt of the excessive temperatures in recent weeks.
Three towns in far northern Canada recently measured their all-time hottest temperatures on record.
Kuujjuaq and Rivière aux Feuilles in northern Quebec and Inuvik in the Northwest Territories all registered their hottest-ever readings this week.
Canada’s bouts of excessive heat came at the same time as a relentless heat wave roasting the southern United States, where the heat isn’t letting up any time soon.
The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) office in Phoenix, Arizona, warned residents that they may soon endure some of the worst heat ever recorded in this part of the desert.
With predicted high temperatures in parts of southeastern California and Arizona possibly exceeding 50°C, and many consecutive days with highs of 45°C or hotter, “this should go down as one of the longest, if not the longest duration heat wave this area has ever seen,” NWS Phoenix said in a forecast discussion released Friday morning.
Western Canada on track for weekend heat
The heat isn’t done roasting parts of our side of the border, either. A ridge of high pressure building across the western half of the country will make for another hot weekend for many in the region.
Daytime high temperatures will climb into the 30s across parts of Western Canada, with Whitehorse expecting a 30-degree high on Saturday and Inuvik—yet again—anticipating a high of 30°C on Saturday.
The heat should pull south a bit by the end of the weekend, with hot temperatures persisting through interior British Columbia, northern Alberta, and into the territories.
Thumbnail image courtesy of Getty.