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Heat Dome Not Relenting Across the Western U.S.

2 weeks ago
Credit: Adobe Stock

The prolonged heat wave is not showing any signs of easing up across the western U.S. with the high temperatures expected to move deeper into the interior portions of the region in the coming days. Here is the latest on this bout of extreme heat.

Extreme Heat Not Letting Up Across the West

Record-breaking temperatures are expected to continue to push across a zone from the Cascades in Washington state and down into the Desert Southwest. A pronounced ridge in the jet stream is working to support an area of high pressure over the West, bringing up warm and dry air from the south. This heat dome has already brought down several daily high records in the last week as it refuses to budge.

How hot will it get in the coming days? Daytime highs are forecast to eclipse the century mark throughout parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, California, and Arizona. Normally temperate cities such as Seattle will experience record challenging highs through Tuesday. The Emerald City is forecast to reach 93 degrees on Tuesday before slipping into the upper 80s on Wednesday. Readings will top out in the low 80s by the end of the week and into the weekend.

It will be even warmer heading to the south in Olympia. The state capital of Washington is bracing for a high of 99 degrees on Tuesday. While these readings may not seem excessive when compared to the Desert Southwest, this is a part of the country that is not accustomed to this level of heat. Many homes do not have air conditioning in both Washington and Oregon.

The central valleys of California, the Southwest, and the Great Basin will see readings well into the triple digits. Las Vegas set a new all-time record high on Sunday when the mercury hit 120 degrees, easily beating the previous reading of 117 degrees. The records for Sin City date back to the mid-1930s, demonstrating the rarity of this level of heat. The gambling capital of the world is set to roast over the next few days with a potential high of 120 degrees back on the table for Wednesday.

Phoenix is also dealing with extreme heat this week. The Valley of the Sun is forecast to see readings hover just above 115 degrees for the balance of the week. An abundance of sunshine and little to no wind will not help the situation.

The plentiful sunshine is also sending the ultraviolet (UV) index levels soaring across the region. Max UV levels will range between 11 and 12 this week in cities such as Las Vegas and Phoenix. It is critical that you take care to protect your skin from the sun with readings of this magnitude. Sunscreen must be reapplied often, particularly if spending time in water.

Several communities are under excessive heat warnings through the middle of the week. This is a good time to familiarize yourself with the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Staying hydrated and avoiding being outside during the peak afternoon heating hours are good strategies to stay safe.

Credit: Adobe Stock

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