The Southwest United States experienced an extreme heat wave this week. Records have either been smashed or tied. In Needles, California, 124ºF tied the record on June 20, 2017. The hottest temperature recorded for this event was Death Valley, California at 127ºF, which is the hottest temperature ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere so early in the year. A high pressure created a dome of sinking air causing temperatures to rise. Weather Underground stated that this is expected as a “pre-monsoon” event. Airports in the region have had to cancel flights due to hotter air being thinner; which means planes need more runway to accommodate for more speed needed to take off. There have been reports of roads buckling in California, wildfires continue to burn, and power grids are being strained from the overuse. The heat is forecasted to lower by Sunday and stay through the week. High Levels of ground-level ozone pollution affected the region through the event. Ground-level ozone pollution is created when volatile organic carbon (VOC) compounds and nitrogen oxides form a chemical reaction is the presence of sunlight. The heat triggered an “unhealthy” range of pollution which increased the risk of stroke, heart attack and breathing problems.
Be sure to check in on loved ones during this event. Please, do not leave pets or children in a hot car. Stay hydrated and wear plenty of sunscreen.
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ⓒ 2017 Meteorologist Brandie Cantrell