United States

Early Summer Heat Dome Brings Triple-Digit Temperatures In Western US

This week, the West Coast will experience an intense heat wave, with temperatures soaring into the triple digits, breaking early summer records. Over 17 million people across California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona are under excessive heat warnings.

Representative Image Photo: AP

As summer approaches, a scorching heat wave is gripping parts of California and the West, setting daily temperature records. This week, millions will experience the highest temperatures of the year so far, as thermometers climb into the triple digits.

The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings for over 17 million people across California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. These warnings indicate dangerously high temperatures that can pose serious health risks.

This extreme heat is caused by a heat dome, a large area of high pressure that traps air and heats it up, creating intense and prolonged heat. This week, temperatures will soar to 20 degrees or more above average, making it feel like mid-July in many areas.

Rising Temperatures And Heat Alerts

Starting Tuesday afternoon, parts of California will experience this dangerous heat, which will then spread to the rest of the Southwest by Wednesday. Even though major coastal cities will avoid the most extreme temperatures, Los Angeles will still be 5 to 10 degrees warmer than usual.

In California’s Central Valley, temperatures will reach the upper 90s and low 100s on Tuesday, with Sacramento expected to hit triple digits for the first time this year. This heat will continue into the weekend, affecting Southern California's desert regions as well. Death Valley might see temperatures as high as 120 degrees by Thursday.

By Wednesday, southern Arizona and southern Nevada will also start to bake, with temperatures approaching 110 degrees. Phoenix is expected to reach 110 degrees for the first time this year by Thursday, a temperature typically not seen until mid-June. Las Vegas will also experience temperatures in the low 110s, more than three weeks earlier than usual.

Breaking Records Across The West

Daily high temperature records are likely to be broken across the West this week. Cities like Phoenix, Las Vegas, Flagstaff, Reno, and Fresno could see new record highs. By Friday, the heat will expand to parts of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Colorado, potentially breaking records there as well.

The extreme heat also raises the risk of wildfires. Sizzling temperatures and low humidity will dry out grasses and brush, making them more likely to catch fire. Breezy winds will develop, especially in California, increasing the fire risk.

Corral Fire In California’s Central Valley

The Corral Fire, which started near Tracy in California's San Joaquin County, has burned over 14,000 acres since Saturday. Residents were evacuated over the weekend as the fire, fueled by gusty winds and dry conditions, threatened nearby communities.

Firefighters managed to gain control of the blaze as winds calmed on Sunday and Monday. By Tuesday morning, the fire was 90% contained. Although evacuation warnings were lifted on Monday evening, officials urged residents to stay alert.

Two firefighters were injured while responding to the fire and were taken to a hospital for treatment. A section of I-580 was closed due to thick smoke but reopened on Sunday night. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

With gusty winds up to 30 mph expected on Tuesday, containment efforts could become more challenging. Temperatures will remain in the 90s through the weekend, with an excessive heat warning in effect from Tuesday through Thursday.