Home > Earth science, weather > Southwest U.S. readies for possible record-breaking heat

Southwest U.S. readies for possible record-breaking heat

The southwestern United States may be facing near record-breaking summer heat during the next few days.

According to the National Weather Service, major cities in Arizona, Nevada, and even southern California will experience temperatures of at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit at the beginning of next week.

The forecast officially calls for Phoenix to hit 117 degrees on Sunday and 118 degrees on Monday. Las Vegas may hit 110 degrees on Monday and Tuesday, while Tucson’s temperature could reach 114 degrees on Sunday and 112 degrees on Monday.

Meteorologist Bob Henson, writing at the Weather Underground blog, thinks it could be warmer.

WU forecast SW June 2016

Graphic courtesy Weather Underground.

So does Ryan Maue, a meteorologist affiliated with Weatherbell Analytics. Maue predicts that the temperature in Phoenix will reach 120 degrees on Monday.

The all-time hottest temperature in Phoenix is 122 degrees, which was reached in 1990. At least one forecast map shows that the metropolis in central Arizona’s Salt River Valley might reach 120 degrees on Monday.

The Valley of the Sun has experienced four straight record-breaking warm days this month (June 3-7), as well as its earliest 115 degree day in recorded history. If Phoenix reaches 116 degrees on Sunday, it would be the hottest day ever recorded in the city prior to the summer solstice.

The heat record in Las Vegas (most recently on June 30, 2013) and Tucson (June 26, 1990) is 117 degrees, while Yuma’s all-time mark is 124 degrees (July 28, 1995).

Los Angeles could reach 101 degrees on Monday, June 20. That is not close to the city’s all-time record high temperature of 113 degrees.

Southwest temperatures

This graphic shows the forecasted high temperatures on June 20, 2016. Graphic courtesy Weatherbell Analytics, National Weather Service.

Records maintained by the National Centers for Environmental Information, an agency of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, show that record high temperatures are much more common in the U.S. this year than are record low temperatures.

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