Source: Thomas Pagano, NASA-JPL/Caltech
Published: June 29, 2023

This movie shows the air temperature just above the surface of the ground observed by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) at 2:30 in the afternoons of June 23-26 during the first major heatwave of 2023 over North America. AIRS is a satellite instrument designed to observe the Earth’s atmospheric temperature, water vapor, clouds, and trace gases. Highest temperatures in the US during the four days of the movie are centered over Texas, with values over 310 K (37 C), or into the 100s F. These high temperatures are typical of desert regions, but accompanied by normal Texas humidity levels typical of the tropics. A second maximum in temperature is seen over the desert southwest of the US and northwest Mexico. Temperatures in June in the desert southwest are often the hottest of the year, before the onset of cooling monsoon rains.