First significant heat wave expected to hit Southwest; 120-Degree plus heat in Death Valley

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
By Paul Martin
June 16, 2015

CALIFORNIA – The first significant heat wave of the year sweeps into the Desert Southwest this week, possibly pushing temps above the 120 degree mark. High and low temperatures will be up to 15 degrees above average for much of the region. Desert areas can expect a period of temperatures well above 100 degrees, along with dry conditions. Desert locations below 3,500 feet will see temperatures rise well into the 100s, while the Colorado River Valley will be even hotter with highs in the 110s likely. The hot spot as usual will be Death Valley which may see temperatures over 120 degrees. An excessive heat watch has been issued for Thursday through next Monday for the Death Valley and Las Vegas area.

The region’s hottest weather so far this year is courtesy of high pressure is moving into the area. The National Weather Service in Las Vegas notes that gusty southwesterly winds are anticipated each afternoon, and along with near maximum solar radiation near the summer solstice, there is no reason to doubt the very warm temperatures ahead. These hot conditions will last through the weekend, which is a change from the first half of June which frequently experienced below-average temperatures and even saw wet conditions. Phoenix has seen 0.19 inches of rain this month and the average rainfall in June is 0.02 inches.

Temperatures in Las Vegas will approach 110 degrees this week, where the average high temperatures for mid-June are around 100 degrees. Highs in Las Vegas reach or top 110 degrees about 9 times a year (record is 29 days in 1940). Phoenix may reach the mid 110s where an excessive heat warning is in effect beginning Tuesday morning and continues all the way through next Monday evening. Lows will add to the effect of the heat with temperatures only drop into the 80s overnight within the urban areas. Heat safety precautions are urged during this period. The National Weather Service in Phoenix warns that those playing or working outdoors, as well as those without access to air conditioning, will face an elevated risk of heat related illness. Remember to never leave kids or pets unattended in cars, drink more water than usual. Wear light-colored clothing and keep your head and body cooler with a hat. Take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. –Weather

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