It might be tempting to shrug at the scorching weather across large swaths of the West. This just in: It gets hot in the summer.
But this record-setting heat wave's remarkable power, size and unusually early appearance is giving meteorologists and climate experts yet more cause for concern about the routinization of extreme weather in an era of climate change.
These sprawling, persistent high-pressure zones popularly called "heat domes" are relatively common in later summer months. This current system is different.