Heat in Southwest Could Be Deadly

Areas in Texas to California are looking at temperatures over 100 this weekend
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2022 2:00 AM CDT
Southwest Is in for 'Extreme' Heat
Javon Hagan of the Arizona Cardinals tries to cool down during practice Thursday in Tempe.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

The National Weather Service has warned of a dangerous weekend ahead in the Southwestern US, predicting a "dangerous and deadly heat wave" for the region. More than 30 million people are under heat alerts, CNN reports. Areas in Texas to California will be affected, the agency said, by temperatures that will top 100 degrees. The risk of heat-related illnesses will rise with the "extreme" heat, the agency warned. Even when the heat eases early next week, per the Washington Post, gusty winds will arise that could spread wildfires quickly.

The Weather Service office in Phoenix urged residents to take precautions, per the New York Times, saying that everyone will be affected, not just the most vulnerable. "Drink water, more than usual, and avoid dehydrating alcoholic, sugary, or caffeinated drinks," the agency advised. Highs over the weekend were forecast to be 109 degrees in Las Vegas and 116 in San Diego. Texas has already set records this week: Rio Grande Village, near the border with Mexico, hit 117 degrees on Tuesday; the state record is 120. Austin hit a record 103 degrees and San Antonio 104. Most warnings will expire Sunday evening.

But this weekend is only the beginning. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted a hotter-than-usual summer in most of the lower 48 states. Precipitation was forecast to be lower than usual in the West; drought is a contributing factor in the increasing heat. So is a heat dome created by high pressure and climate change. Phoenix's average temperature in June in the World War II era was 83.7 degrees; it's now 93.9 degrees. (More heat wave stories.)

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