Extreme Heat Alert: Las Vegas Hits 44°C, Death Valley Near 49°C – Will Records Fall?

June 7, 2024
1 min read
2 Girl's Swimming during Daytime trying to beat the heat. Photo Credit: Juan Salamanca, Pexels
2 Girl's Swimming during Daytime trying to beat the heat. Photo Credit: Juan Salamanca, Pexels

Extreme heat hitting the western United States will peak on Thursday, an event that may herald a sweltering summer at a time when the UN has been warning that the planet is increasingly subjected to overheating. In the city of Las Vegas, temperatures reached 44 degrees Celsius, while in the desert region known as Death Valley, thermometers marked near 49ºC. According to many scientists, repeated heatwaves are an unequivocal sign of global warming and are expected to multiply, last longer, and intensify.

The phenomenon that will spike temperatures across much of the West has put California authorities on alert, the most populous state. Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that the state is entering Phase 2 of a program that allows for better coordination of government response to the high temperatures, especially in the inland areas. “Heat kills,” reminded the Californian politician, who urged city residents to stay in the shade, stay hydrated, and stay informed about government updates. The high temperatures will be felt, especially in the southeast of the state, as well as in Nevada and Arizona. Meteorologists are watching to see if Phoenix breaks its temperature record of 43.8°C (111°F) set in 2016.

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“Heat is the leading cause of weather-related fatalities each year. A heat wave is a period of abnormally hot and sometimes humid weather, generally lasting more than a couple of days. ,” said National Weather Service in a post. “Heat waves have the potential to cover a large area, exposing a high number of people to a hazardous combination of heat and humidity, which can be very taxing on the body. During a heat wave, stay indoors in air conditioning,” NWS advised. The high temperatures have been felt since Tuesday and will continue at least until Thursday, while the pressure center of this phenomenon moves over the western United States.

The presence of a heat dome can increase the number of deaths in the most vulnerable communities. But it also concerns authorities because it can accelerate the fire season in the West, a region that has seen tens of thousands of hectares disappear in recent years due to difficult-to-control fires. This has raised alarms in the Central Valley. Over the weekend, a fire was detected in Tracy, east of San Francisco. Strong winds, with gusts up to 96 kilometers per hour, caused it to grow and forced the closure of state highway 580 and even some evacuations.

The national agency in charge of meteorology warned last week that 2024 will be one of the five warmest years on record. There is a high probability that it will surpass last year, which shattered records across much of the planet, becoming the hottest in millennia.

Govind Tekale

Embarking on a new journey post-retirement, Govind, once a dedicated teacher, has transformed his enduring passion for current affairs and general knowledge into a conduit for expression through writing. His historical love affair with reading, which borders on addiction, has evolved into a medium to articulate his thoughts and disseminate vital information. Govind pens down his insights on a myriad of crucial topics, including the environment, wildlife, energy, sustainability, and health, weaving through every aspect that is quintessential for both our existence and that of our planet. His writings not only mirror his profound understanding and curiosity but also serve as a valuable resource, offering a deep dive into issues that are critical to our collective future and well-being.

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