#ESA; #heatWaveInCanadaAndUS; #CopernicusSentinel3Mission; #HeatDome
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: Although heatwaves are quite common during the summer months, the punishing and unusual heatwave hitting parts of western Canada and the US with shattering with temperature records has been particularly devastating, and hundreds of people falling victim to the extreme heat and succumbing to death, says European Space Agency (ESA).
With its mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure continuous delivering of benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world, (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space.
Temperature record in Canada was shattered for a third consecutive day recording a whopping 49.6°C on 29 June in Lytton, a village northeast of Vancouver, in British Columbia.:
Portland, Oregon, also broke its all-time temperature record for three days in a row.
The following map shows the extent of the heatwave also revealing the land surface temperature of parts of Canada and the US on 29 June. The data show that surface temperatures in Vancouver reached 43°C, and Calgary and Portland recorded 43°C. The hottest temperatures recorded are in the state of Washington (visible in deep red) with maximum land surface temperatures of around 69°C.
Canada-US Heatwave Map. Image credit: ESA website
The map has been generated using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission, a multi-instrument mission to measure sea-surface topography, sea- and land-surface temperature, ocean color and land color with high-end accuracy and reliability. The mission supports ocean forecasting systems, as well as environmental and climate monitoring.
Launched on Feb 16 2016 Sentinel-3A joined its twin in orbit Sentinel-3B on 25 April 2018.
Sentinel family. Image credit: ESA website.
While air temperatures are typically used by weather forecasts, the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer onboard Sentinel-3 measures the energy radiating from Earth’s surface. Therefore, actual temperature of the land’s surface is shown by the map which can be significantly hotter or colder than air temperatures.
The light blue in the image of the map represents either snow and ice or cloud coverage. Snow and ice can be seen, for example, in the mountain ranges of Canada and Mount Rainier in the US, while some clouds can be seen on the Pacific Coast and in the bottom right of the map.
The persistent heat over parts of western Canada and parts of the US has been caused by a heat dome formed when high-pressure circulation in the atmosphere acts like a dome or cap, trapping heat at the surface and favoring the formation of a heat wave. stretching from California to the Arctic. Temperatures have been easing in coastal areas, but there has been little respite for the inland regions.
Heat dome. Image credit: https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/heat-dome.html