Saturday saw surprisingly high levels of air temperature in the southwestern part of the U.S., where highs between 115 and 120 degrees were recorded for parts of Arizona, Nevada and California.
According to forecasters, temperatures in Las Vegas reached 115 degrees on Saturday afternoon, two degrees short of the city’s all-time record.
Phoenix hit 119 degrees, breaking the record for June 29 that was set nine years ago. Large swaths of California sweltered under extreme heat warnings, which are expected to save until Tuesday night – and maybe even longer.
The forecast for Death Valley claims that the region will face up to 128 degrees of hit on Saturday, but it was 3 degrees shy of that.
As reports from the National Weather Service say, Death Valley’s record high of 134 degrees, set a century ago, stands as the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth.
A couple hours south in Baker, the temperature of 117 degrees was recorded in the road tripper’s oasis in the Mojave Desert on Interstate 15.
As The Huffington Post writes, there’s a series of gas stations and restaurants between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, known by travelers for the giant thermometer that often notes temperatures in the triple digits.
At the Mad Greek restaurant there, a waitress called out orders for “Chocolate shake! Strawberry shake!” while the temperature rocketed to 112 degrees during the lunch rush.
In Southern California, Riverside reported of the air temperature of 105 degrees, and Palm Springs heat reached 122 degrees. At Lancaster Fox Field in Los Angeles County, was set a record of 111 degrees.
National Weather Service meteorologists John Dumas said cooling ocean breezes don’t reach inland overnight to cool Southern California’s overheated valleys and deserts.
Burbank set a record overnight low with temperatures dipping to 74 degrees around the midnight, much warmer than the previous record of 68 degrees for Saturday’s early hours.
The weather service revealed that in Northern California, temperatures reached the upper 90s in San Jose. Farther north, triple-digit temps were reached in downtown Sacramento.
A man was found dead and one more was hospitalized in serious condition Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas fire and rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski reports that paramedics arrived at a home with no air conditioning and found an elderly man dead. His condition was believed to be aggravated by the heat.
Authorities said additional groups of personnel were sent to the Border Patrol’s search-and-rescue unit because of the danger to people trying to slip across the Mexican border.
At least seven people are feared to be killed the last week in Arizona after falling victim to the brutal desert heat.
The heat was so punishing that rangers took up positions at trailheads at Lake Mead in Nevada to persuade people not to hike.
Forecasters predict that high temperatures are also expected to soar across Utah and into Wyoming and Idaho, with triple-digit heat forecast for the Boise area. Cities in Washington state that are better known for cool, rainy weather should break the 90s next week.