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Southwest US Heatwave: Records Shatter, More Triple-Digit Temps Expected

The US Southwest is in the grip of its first major heat wave of the year, with record-breaking temperatures scorching the region and excessive heat warnings in effect. On Friday, temperatures soared past 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) from California to Arizona, following unprecedented heat the previous day.

Despite summer being two weeks away, about half of Arizona and Nevada were under excessive heat alerts, extended through Friday evening by the National Weather Service. Las Vegas, experiencing its earliest intense heat, saw the alert extended through Saturday.

Although temperatures are expected to decrease slightly over the weekend, they will remain above average into early next week. Las Vegas set a new record of 111 F (43.8 C) on Thursday, and on Friday reached 110 F (48.3 C), breaking another record set in 2013.

Phoenix saw a new record high of 113 F (45 C) on Thursday, described by forecasters as "dangerously hot." Eleanor Wallace, visiting from northern Utah, described the heat as intense.

Despite no immediate reports of heat-related deaths or serious injuries, 11 people were hospitalized for heat exhaustion at a campaign rally for Donald Trump in Phoenix on Thursday. Trump's upcoming rally in Las Vegas on Sunday coincides with temperatures expected to reach 104 F (40 C).

While the National Weather Service predicts slight cooling across the region, central and southern Arizona and parts of southern Nevada will still experience triple-digit temperatures, possibly reaching up to 110 F (43 C).

Death Valley National Park also experienced record-breaking heat on Thursday, reaching 122 F (50 C), surpassing the previous record set in 1996. Even higher-elevation areas saw unusually high temperatures, such as Reno recording 98 F (37 C) on Thursday, well above normal.

Despite the sweltering conditions, one couple seized the moment. Oscar Tomasio proposed to his girlfriend, Megan McCracken, during a sunrise hike on Camelback Mountain in Phoenix. Although they planned to start early to avoid the heat, McCracken noted that it wasn't early enough.

June 8, 2024 1:26 p.m. 408

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