Las Vegas records another record heatwave but lasts a week and loses its grip on the Southwest

RENO, Nev. — Records fell Thursday across the U.S. Southwest as temperatures topped 110 degrees Fahrenheit from southeastern California to Arizona, where the region’s first heat wave of the year should maintain its hold for at least another day.

Although the official start of summer was still two weeks away, about half of Arizona and Nevada were under an excessive heat warning, which the National Weather Service said extended through Friday evening. The heat alert for Las Vegas has been extended until Saturday.

“It’s so hot,” said Eleanor Wallace, 9, who was visiting Phoenix from northern Utah on Thursday on a hike celebrating her birthday with her mother, Megan Wallace.

The National Weather Service in Phoenix, where Thursday’s new record of 113 F surpassed the old mark of 111 F set in 2016, called conditions “dangerously hot.”

There were no immediate reports of heat-related deaths or serious injuries.

But at a campaign rally for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Phoenix, 11 people became ill from heat exhaustion late in the afternoon and were taken to the hospital , where they were treated and released, firefighters said.

And in Las Vegas, with a new record of 111 on Thursday that also marked the first period of the year where the high reached at least 110, Clark County firefighters reported responding to at least 12 calls for exposure to heat since Wednesday midnight. Nine of those calls resulted in a patient requiring hospital treatment.

Several other areas in Arizona, California and Nevada also broke records by a degree or two, including Death Valley National Park with a record for the date of 122 surpassing the 121 from 1996 in the desert located 194 feet below sea level, near the California-Nevada Line. The archives date from 1911.

The heat arrived weeks earlier than usual, even in places farther north, at higher elevations – areas typically a dozen degrees cooler. That includes Reno, where the normal high of 81 F for this time of year hit a record 98 F on Thursday. The archives date from 1888.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a slight cooling across the region this weekend, but only by a few degrees. In central and southern Arizona, this will still mean temperatures in the triple digits, even up to 110 F.

Unseasonably warm weather in Phoenix on Thursday didn’t stop Oscar Tomasio of Cleveland, Ohio, from proposing to his girlfriend, Megan McCracken, as they headed to the top of a trail on Camelback Mountain with 3 liters of water each in tow.

“It was a grueling hike,” Tomasio told the Associated Press. “It was really hot, so we started really early.”

“The view was beautiful. We didn’t make it to the top because she was a little nervous because of the heat,” he said. “So, I proposed to her when the sun came up.”

McCracken confirmed they had planned a sunrise hike and woke up around 5 a.m. to try to beat the heat and impending trail closure.

“Probably not soon enough,” she said.

Megan Wallace, the mother of the birthday girl from Utah who also came to pack water bottles, said, “We started a few minutes after 6 and it’s like we were prepared, but we drained all our water and it was hot – it was warmer. than what we are used to. »

Associated Press writers Anita Snow and Ty O’Neil in Phoenix and Rio Yamat and Ken Ritter in Las Vegas contributed to this report.

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