A day after reaching 123 degrees in Death Valley, CA, 113 degrees in Needles, CA and 112 degrees in Las Vegas, residents living in the Mojave Desert and Desert Southwest are in for another day of heat, sweat and misery. The most vulnerable to this intense heat are children, pets, the elderly and homeless. An Excessive Heat Warning remains in effect across the Mojave Desert, including Death Valley, CA, Las Vegas, and Lake Havasu City, AZ. Fortunately, this dangerous heat wave will slowly lessen in intensity by Thursday and Friday of this week.
So what’s causing this extreme heat?
A large ridge of high pressure at the surface and upper-levels continues to suppress cloud cover, allowing the early-July sunshine to heat temperatures in many places to dangerously high levels. This high pressure center will shift out of the Southwest on Thursday, inviting increased moisture as cloud cover and afternoon thunderstorms roll across the higher terrain. This change will begin to knock temperatures back a few degrees each day, although temperatures will remain above the 100 degree mark through Saturday.
The hot weather is not helping the ongoing long-term drought in place throughout the southwest. Fortunately, a few showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and evening will at least help chip away at the rainfall shortage in select locations. According to the National Weather Service in Flagstaff, AZ, the first half of 2014 (January – June) was one of the driest on record!
Often referred to as the ‘silent killer,‘ heat consistently and quietly kills more people than any other weather event in the U.S. In 2013, 123 deaths were directly attributed to extreme heat. The number of tornado and hurricane deaths in 2013 was 109 and 108, respectively. Last year was not just an anomaly either; the ten-year average for heat-related deaths is almost double compared to deaths from both tornadoes and hurricanes. Learn how you can Beat the Heat Before it Beats You!
Additional Helpful Links:
Be Safe! Know Before™.
The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team