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    Record-Challenging Warmth Grips West Through Midweek

    By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
    April 8, 2014; 7:15 AM ET
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    Play video A look at the weather in the southwestern United States.

    Warm, sunny weather will be the theme for the Southwest through midweek with several cities challenging record high temperatures.

    Tuesday could turn out to be the warmest day of the year so far for many locations, including Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Albuquerque.

    More of the same is on tap for Wednesday as temperatures are expected to remain well above normal across the region.

    A large area of high pressure centered over the Southwest is responsible for the record-challenging warmth, promoting abundant sunshine for both Tuesday and Wednesday.

    Tuesday looks to bring the first 90-degree day of the year to Phoenix, Ariz., as well as the first 100-degree day to the infamous Death Valley.

    Palm Springs, Calif., may be another location that flirts with the 100-degree mark.

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    AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures can run as much as 10 degrees higher than the actual temperature under the cloud-free sky.

    This could make it feel closer to 100 degrees in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon when temperatures are forecast to approach the record value of 92 degrees.

    Folks planning to spend time in the outdoors should plan accordingly by wearing sunscreen and protective clothing.

    Anyone partaking in more strenuous activities in the outdoors should also have more drinking water available to stay hydrated.

    Temperatures are expected to fall by a few degrees each day heading into the weekend as the main core of the heat shifts to the east.

    Dry weather will be here to stay though with very little rain in sight for the entire Southwest through the first half of next week.

    This is bad news when it comes to the ongoing drought across the West.

    According to the most recent report given by the U.S. Drought Monitor on April 1, 2014, 60 percent of the West is experiencing a moderate drought with the worst conditions being found across California and western Nevada.

    "There is a glimmer of hope," said AccuWeather.com Western U.S. Weather Expert Ken Clark, "but it is on the far distant horizon."

    "El Niño conditions are expected to develop through the summer, and if the magnitude holds into next winter, we very well could be in for an abundance of storms next winter." said Clark.

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