March 21, 2018

Southwest celebrates first day of summer with heat wave

20 June 2017, 05:23 | Darnell Patrick

A brutal heat wave is expected to scorch the southwestern USA this week, with some cities likely to see all-time record high temperatures.

If you needed further proof that Phoenix is going to be an unlivable inferno this week, here you go: American Airlines just cancelled 20 flights in and out of Sky Harbor International Airport on Tuesday because it's just too damn hot.

Those looking for a more significant reprieve from the heat will need to head to the cooler beaches of Southern California. Excessive heat warnings are in effect for parts of Arizona, California and Nevada with temperatures expected to peak at 117 to 122 degrees early this week.

American Airlines said that planes used for regional flights can operate in temperatures up to 118 degrees.

Yesterday, sweltering heat took San Francisco to a record high, hitting 88 degrees.

Airlines can use other strategies for limiting weight during hot weather, such as not fuelling completely, then making a refuelling stop. The last time it reached 120 was in 1995.

Visitors to Sin City also should be aware that the Strip is often hotter than the rest of the gambling paradise. The major burn center in Arizona urged people to be careful around concrete, playground equipment and vehicle interiors.

Meteorologist Ashley Allen with The National Weather Service in Las Vegas says the city's airport is forecast to hit 114 on Monday, but temperatures on the Strip could reach somewhere between 115 and 120 degrees.

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"Heat of this magnitude is rare, unsafe and very possibly deadly", the Weather Service in Phoenix warned on Monday. A few decades ago, only four nights each summer had nighttime temperatures above 65 degrees.

Residents who are accustomed to this type of heat should still take necessary precautions due to the severity of the conditions. Similar temperatures are expected across much of the United States southwest, prompting a public health hazard.

Given the high temperature and humidity values forecast for this heat wave, it is important to watch for heat index values to get a better idea of the danger that awaits outside.

Heat has disrupted travel at Sky Harbor in the past.

Sacramento, California, saw record high temperatures of 106 degrees on Sunday, heat last seen nearly 75 years ago, when it reached 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

The city was expected to have a high of 82 Sunday, well above the normal upper 60s.

Jai, a Sumatran Tiger, sits in a pool to keep cool at the Phoenix Zoo, Monday, June 19, 2017 in Phoenix, Ariz. I hope everyone takes the risk of risky heat seriously and takes advantage of whatever relief options they have.

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