Mother Nature is poised to increase the heat to levels more typical of midsummer in the southwestern United States at the end of this week, and forecasters say decades-old records could be threatened amid the sizzle of the start of the season.
“A northward bulge in the jet stream will expand and strengthen late in the week, particularly Thursday through Saturday,” said Brian Thompson, AccuWeather’s senior meteorologist and western United States expert. , adding that it would set the stage for the hottest weather of the season. far.
The heat will only intensify as the week progresses, requiring increased cooling demand that can put a strain on the power grid and residents’ wallets.
“The first day of 110 degrees Fahrenheit is expected in Phoenix and Palm Springs, Calif., this weekend,” Thompson said. Average high temperatures are in the lower 100 degrees at this point of the year.
“The first average 110-degree day in the Phoenix area since 1896 is June 18, although if you look at the last 20 years that average has gone up to June 8. So this heat wave is really on par with the average,” says Thompson.
While the heat’s arrival time isn’t unusual for the region, AccuWeather meteorologists say thermometer readings could approach daily highs amid the trend, with some highs dating back nearly 50 years or so. more.
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In the high-altitude city of Flagstaff, Arizona, where average highs before mid-June are in the mid-to-high 70s, the 112-year-old June 10 record of 87 could be under threat. .
Death Valley, California, home to the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth, is expected to reach the top 110 degrees F next weekend, according to AccuWeather forecasts.
California’s Central Valley is also likely to sizzle in what will be “the most widespread, intense and longest-lasting heat event of the year so far,” according to AccuWeather meteorologist La Troy Thornton. .
Daytime temperatures are forecast to be at or near the century across much of the Sacramento Valley southward, with Fresno expected to approach record lows around 105 on Friday and Saturday.
“Even for an area like this that is used to hot weather, this level of heat will warrant special consideration being given to sensitive groups like children and the elderly,” Thornton said, adding that the duration of the heat wave could put additional pressure. on the inhabitants.
Experts are urging people across the region to take the necessary precautions amid the first major heat wave of the year. This includes limiting outdoor activities to the cooler times of the day, drinking plenty of fluids, and spending as much time as possible in air-conditioned buildings. Make sure you know the warning signs of heat-related illness when doing any type of outdoor activity. Steps should also be taken to ensure pets are protected from intense heat.
The hot regime will also be rather dry in the region, but AccuWeather long-range meteorologist Brandon Buckingham noted that there may be a slight increase in humidity in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of the year. weekdays that could trigger thunderstorms with little or no precipitation. in the highlands.
Apart from this slim chance of rain, the AccuWeather long-term team predicts that above-average warmth and dry weather will be the theme in the Southwest through the middle of the month.
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