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The first heat wave of 2024 to scorch California, West: here is the forecast

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The US’s first major heat wave of the summer will spread across the West in the coming days, forecasters say, sending temperatures soaring to dangerous and even “life-threatening” levels in several states including California, Nevada and Arizona.

By mid-week, temperatures could reach 111 degrees in both Phoenix and Las Vegas, the National Weather Service said. Many record highs are possible.

California’s infamous hotspot of Death Valley could reach 124 degrees by the end of the week, which would be a record warm temperature for so early in the year.

In Phoenix, where an excessive heat warning is in effect, the National Weather Service warned that “extreme heat will significantly increase the risk of heat-related illness, especially for those who work or participate in outdoor activities.”

To put this early heat into context, the current high temperature forecast for Las Vegas on Thursday is 111 degrees, according to the Las Vegas Weather Service. That would equate to the first 111 degree reading in Las Vegas ever recorded.

Wildfires are sparking in California as the heat increases

Wildfires ignited in California this weekend as the heat began to rise: Hundreds of emergency responders continued to battle a 14,000-acre wildfire east of San Francisco on Monday, injuring two firefighters and prompting evacuations ahead of the high temperatures expected for this weekend. week were predicted.

The National Weather Service warned that extreme heat will continue this week across a vast swath of central California, including the San Joaquin Valley. The advisory, which will be in effect from 11am on Tuesday to 8pm on Thursday, warns of ‘dangerous warm conditions’. Temperatures of 95 to 108 degrees are possible.

‘Heat dome’ over Mexico is moving north

The rising heat in the western US is partly related to the heat wave that has ravaged Mexico in recent weeks and led to dozens of deaths. The extreme heat in Mexico is due to a strong ‘heat dome’ of high pressure slowly working its way north towards the western US

A heat dome is “a bubble of high pressure and warm air that suppresses clouds and rain and directs the storm track well north,” says Weather.com meteorologist Jonathan Erdman. “If these occur in mid-summer, they could lead to long-lasting heat waves near their core.”

How should you prepare for extreme heat?

Because extreme heat and humidity can affect the body’s ability to cool itself, it’s valuable to know the signs of overexposure to heat and how to treat heat-related illnesses. Knowing the warning signs for heat stroke and heat exhaustion, and the differences between the two, can help you protect yourself and those around you, experts say.

Those most at risk for heat illness are people age 65 or older or younger than 2 years, and people with chronic illnesses or mental health conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ways to prevent heat-related illness include drinking water, using air conditioning, limiting outdoor activities, spending time in the shade when outdoors and cooling off in a pool or other body of water.

Contributing: Christopher Cann, Cady Stanton, USA TODAY

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