A $50,000 electric bill? The cost of cooling L.A.’s biggest houses in a heat wave? and the dangers posed by a warming planet? What if people were more vulnerable to heat waves than their houses? What if heat waves were more dangerous?
We should know by now that there’s only one real way to predict what’s going to happen today. It’s this : the sun will set in the afternoon. That’s the only prediction which will never change.
When the sun goes down on June 29, we will be in the final days of the worst heat wave Los Angeles has suffered since records began in the nineteenth century. The average temperature today is 81 degrees, with an average humidity of 97 percent. It’s the sixth-hottest day in history.
You don’t have to be a meteorologist to know how hot it’s going to get. At this rate, people will have to wear a hat today. The mercury is expected to reach into the high 80s. We’re still not in the heat wave’s deadly peak – a whopping 96 degrees and a humidity of 99.9 percent. But given the record-setting temperature in many other Southern Californian cities this month, this is going to feel like it. And we’re not even going to enjoy the sunshine.
That’s because another part of the forecast that hasn’t been updated in years is the probability of record-breaking heat. That’s right, that’s what the Weather Channel does.
“The chance for a record high on Monday or Tuesday is about 90 percent,” the Weather Channel’s own John M. Grotz said in this week’s forecast. “And that’s because we have a chance of having another really warm day on Wednesday and then a chance of a record high for Thursday.”
By Wednesday, Grotz told viewers, there will be a 50 percent chance of “another extremely high” high and then a day when “we have a chance of 100 percent in terms of the chance of breaking the previous day’s record high.”
On Thursday, Grotz said, the chance of another high of 100 percent is “still there.”