An extreme marine heatwave hit the North Atlantic in mid-June, raising temperatures upwards of 4 to 5°C above normal in certain areas.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday that the impacts of a strong El Niño weather event are finally here, raising sea surface temperatures way above average throughout the North Atlantic and parts of the Pacific. Presently, the most severe impacts are striking off the coast of Ireland and Great Britain, but these conditions will have a direct impact here in the U.S.
“At a global level, no ocean basin is seeing such widespread and intense marine heatwaves as the North Atlantic,” amateur meteorologist Colin McCarthy wrote of the situation on his Twitter.
One of the most severe marine heatwaves on Earth has developed off the coast of Ireland and the UK, with water temperatures as high as 4-5°C above normal.
NOAA’s Marine Heatwave Watch has categorized this event as a Category 4 (extreme) marine heatwave. pic.twitter.com/mDfhZEu2KY
— Colin McCarthy (@US_Stormwatch) June 17, 2023
So why should we be worried here in the U.S.? Britain suffered horrific heatwaves throughout the summer and fall of 2022, so this year should be no different. This could lead to massive and intense hurricanes and other extreme weather events right here at home.
The relationship between warm water and hurricanes is fairly well established by current, mainstream science. But the current conditions apparently have some climate scientists working from a position of trepidation and curiosity, as we don’t really know what happens next, Axios reported.
“The global oceans are very warm right now and I’m afraid that this is putting us into territory that we don’t have much experience with,” Climate Prediction Center’s El Niño-Southern Oscillation chief Michelle L’Heureux. (RELATED: UK Issues First-Ever Extreme Heat Warning, And People’s Reactions Are Hilarious)
Wildfires have already engulfed Canada, bringing thick smoke to most of the eastern U.S. Along with global temperatures being surpassed (at least in terms of the last 170 years or so of history), 2023 could be a pretty weird year of weather firsts.