This image from NASA's Terra satellite shows land surface temperatures during June 26 though July 3, 2007, compared to average temperatures observed during the same period in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Red indicates higher temperatures than previously recorded; blue indicates lower ones.
Deep red marks the extreme heat that lingered over much of the western United States in early July 2007. Skyrocketing temperatures met or broke records from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Great Falls, Montana, according to news reports. The oppressive heat created prime fire conditions, so when dry thunderstorms (lightning storms with little or no rain) occurred on July 7, lightning sparked dozens of fast-moving wildfires.
Northern California, Oregon, and Washington appear cooler than in previous years, as indicated by the blue areas. The heat wave started midway through the week-long period shown in this image. Although temperatures may have soared at the end of the period, cooler temperatures earlier in the week dominate the signal. Land surface temperatures from July 4-11 show that these areas warmed considerably the following week.
The Southern Plains are dark blue where temperatures fell lower than they had been in previous years. During this period, torrential rains soaked the region, causing widespread flooding in Texas and Oklahoma, and in Kansas and Missouri. The gray portions of the image in Kansas and Oklahoma could not be surveyed by MODIS because of continuous cloud cover during the week-long period.
Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7) www.beyondgenes.com