- The National Weather Service announced that more than 40 million people in the western United States are under a heat alert or a high temperature warning.
- Power grid operators in California and Texas are vigilant as temperatures in areas hit triple digits.
- Scientists say that people living in the American West can expect more devastating heat waves in the coming years.
A prolonged heat wave raised triple-digit temperatures on Wednesday, raising fears that such extreme weather could become the new normal in the western United States.
The National Weather Service, a US government agency that provides severe weather forecasts and warnings, announced Wednesday that More than 40 million people in the western region High temperature warning or high temperature warning. At least 11 states have reported triple-digit temperaturesAccuweather confirmed.
But the constant heat wave being felt in the West is not going away any time soon.
“There’s no easy way to say this, so we’ll go straight to the chase: it’s going to be *extremely* hot for a *long* time next week,” The Salt Lake City National Weather Service tweeted Friday. “The whole area will be much higher than normal throughout the next week.”
The weather service said residents “who tolerate abnormal temperatures” are encouraged to stay hydrated and avoid long periods of time outdoors if possible.
“With warm temperatures and dry soil in place, the risk of fire applies to parts of the Rocky Mountains and western Intermountain,” the service wrote.
At least four states have issued evacuation orders for residents. Here’s a look at the hottest ones in the western states and when they might end:
Arizona “Flirting Records”
Temperatures in Phoenix reached 115 degrees on Tuesday, just below the daily record set in 1974 but representing The hottest temperature in the city so far this year. Bushfire smoke from a nearby telegraph fire lowered the temperature in the city.
But Phoenix is expected to reach 115 degrees Wednesday and 117 degrees in the next two days, the National Weather Service said. Wednesday’s record was set at 115 in 1974.
The National Weather Service said the low temperature in Phoenix on Wednesday morning was 90 degrees Could set a new record low If it lasts until midnight. The current record was 86, set in 1988, according to the National Weather Service.
State overheating warning It is expected to end Sunday night.
“It’s going to be very hot and we’re going to be flirting with records every single day,” meteorologist Matthew Hirsch said of next week. “We don’t really see cooling trends until late into the weekend, early next week.
“It’s not normal, and it’s unusual for it to be this hot,” Hirsch continued, adding that normal high temperatures are usually between 105 and 106 degrees at this time of year. “It’s just a very warm, dry air mass that has moved north into the area and is pressing with it very high.”
Meanwhile, southern Nevada will see near-record or record heat through Saturday, according to the National Weather Service in Las Vegas. Las Vegas on Wednesday topped an 80-year record set on June 16, hitting a high of 116. The previous high was 114, set in 1940, and the all-time high in Las Vegas was 117, according to Las Vegas Review Magazine.
High temperatures in California, Texas put network operators on alert
On Tuesday, Palm Springs, California, the temperature reached 117 degrees. Apparently he broke the record for the highest temperature on June 15, 1961. I hit 120 on Wednesday, Reports said.
The projected high temperature in California’s Death Valley on Wednesday was 124 degrees, just 10 degrees from the highest recorded temperature in the region and in the world, 134 degrees Fahrenheit in 1913.
Record warming is also expected in Northern California and the Central Valley. High temperatures 10 to 20 degrees above average will spread across central and northern California through Thursday, The National Weather Service said.
Temperatures reached 99 degrees shortly after midday, but only one woman showed up at the city’s cooling center, Kathleen Kraft, a shelter coordinator in Livermore, California, said.
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“We expect to see more people tomorrow when the temperature is expected to reach 108 degrees,” Kraft said.
The California Autonomous System operator, which monitors power lines across the state, issued a flexible alert Thursday night asking residents to avoid using power to reduce the strain on the state’s energy.
The forecast also showed sufficient reserves to cover demand Thursday evening, but Californians should exercise caution in case there is a need for a flex alert as solar production declines.
In Texas, the Texas Energy Reliability Board this week asked residents to conserve power to avoid blackouts. Already Monday, power plants He had unexpected interruptionsand losing enough power to blackout 2.4 million homes.
Virginia Palacios, executive director of the Commission Shift, an advocacy group that deals with the state, said it should do more to support the network.
Several areas of Texas, such as Dallas and Austin, approached triple-digit temperatures on Tuesday.
Dry weather adds new challenge as wildfires rage in Montana, Wyoming
A reading of 107 degrees in Salt Lake City on Tuesday matched the highest temperatures ever recorded in the capital, Utah, matching previous highs recorded in July 2002 and July 1960.
On Tuesday, Denver scored 101, breaking the daily record set in 1952 and 1993 from 97. On Wednesday, the city also scored a score of 100, making it the 14th time in Denver’s history that the city has experienced 100 consecutive days for the first days so far.
Also Tuesday, Billings, Montana. The temperature reached 108 degrees, reaching the city’s highest temperature ever recorded in 2002. On Wednesday, Laramie set a new record of 92 degrees, and the Cheyenne tied at 93, a record previously set in 2007 and 1940 respectively. .
Temperatures are set to drop in all of these states by the end of the week. But in Montana, temperatures have made it difficult to fight wildfires that have exploded in size, leading to evacuations and the destruction of an unspecified number of homes. The furious winds ignited the flames, forcing the firefighting helicopter to land, crashing it.
At least 14 new fires have been reported in Montana and Wyoming since Tuesday.
Dry weather was also being felt in Idaho, as authorities braced for what could be a challenging wildfire season.
Nick Nausslar, a meteorologist with the National Interagency Center, told state officials this week that nearly 80% of Idaho is experiencing drought and will likely experience the rest in the coming months. He said Idaho has experienced the second driest spring in the past 126 years.
Expect more to come, experts say
Scientists who study drought and climate change say that people living in the American West can expect to see more of the same in the coming years.
“Heat waves are getting worse in the West because the soil is so dry,” said Park Williams, a UCLA climate and fire scientist, who calculated that the soils in the western half of the country are “the driest since 1895.” We could see two, three, four, five of these heat waves before the end of the summer.”
Contributing: Chelsea Curtis, Arizona Republic. Bob Sechler, Austin American Statesman; Associated Press.