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Heat wave grips Southwest US as records tumble, more triple-digit temperatures forecast – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The first major heat wave of the year has gripped the US Southwest, bringing record-breaking temperatures and excessive heat warnings across the region. On Friday, temperatures continued to soar past 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) from California to Arizona, following a day of unprecedented heat.
Although summer is still two weeks away, about half of Arizona and Nevada were under an excessive heat alert, which the National Weather Service extended through Friday evening.In Las Vegas, where it has never been this hot so early in the year, the alert was extended through Saturday.
Temperatures are expected to gradually decrease over the weekend but will remain above average into early next week.
Las Vegas set a new record of 111 F (43.8 C) on Thursday, matching the earliest point in the year that the city has reached 110 F (43.3 C). On Friday afternoon, temperatures in Las Vegas climbed to 110 F (48.3 C), breaking another record set in 2013. The National Weather Service warned that it could get even hotter before sunset.
In Phoenix, a new record high of 113 F (45 C) on Thursday surpassed the previous record of 111 F (44 C) set in 2016. Forecasters described the conditions as “dangerously hot.”
Eleanor Wallace, a 9-year-old visiting Phoenix from northern Utah to celebrate her birthday with a hike, remarked on the intense heat, saying, “It’s so hot.”
There have been no immediate reports of heat-related deaths or serious injuries. However, at a campaign rally for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Phoenix on Thursday, 11 people were hospitalized for heat exhaustion. Trump is scheduled to hold another rally in Las Vegas on Sunday, where the high is expected to reach 104 F (40 C).
The National Weather Service predicts slight cooling across the region this weekend, but temperatures in central and southern Arizona and parts of southern Nevada will still hit triple digits, possibly reaching up to 110 F (43 C).
Other areas also saw record-breaking heat on Thursday, including Death Valley National Park, where temperatures hit a record 122 F (50 C), surpassing the previous record of 121 F (49.4 C) set in 1996. Records at Death Valley date back to 1911.
The heat wave arrived earlier than usual, even in higher-elevation areas typically cooler by about a dozen degrees. Reno, for instance, recorded a high of 98 F (37 C) on Thursday, well above the normal high of 81 F (27 C) for this time of year. Records in Reno date back to 1888.
In Phoenix on Thursday, despite the sweltering heat, Oscar Tomasio from Cleveland, Ohio, proposed to his girlfriend, Megan McCracken, during a sunrise hike on Camelback Mountain. They each carried three liters of water, attempting to beat the heat and avoid a trail closure.
“It was a grueling hike,” Tomasio told The Associated Press. “It was extra hot, so we started extra early. The views were beautiful. We didn’t make it quite to the top because she was a little nervous with the heat. So I proposed to her when the sun rose.”
McCracken noted that they had planned the hike to start at sunrise, waking up around 5 am to try to avoid the intense heat. “Probably not early enough,” she added.
(With agency input)





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