Blistering heat to fade in Southwest after highs top 125 F
By By Brett Rathbun, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist
June 26, 2016, 3:23:10 AM EDT
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All-time records were set across portions of the southwestern United States as extreme heat gripped the region from June 19-21.
A strong ridge of high pressure parked across the region last weekend into early this week was sending temperatures toward all-time highs.
"When a ridge of high pressure like that one forms in the middle to late June, it can deliver some of the hottest weather possible to the Desert Southwest," AccuWeather Western U.S. Expert Ken Clark said.
Temperatures ran between 10 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit above average in many locations.
Some of the cities that set daily record-high temperatures during the heat wave included Phoenix, Las Vegas and Palm Springs, California.
While those cities failed to reach their all-time record highs, a few locations succeeded. These included Needles and Blythe, California.
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While this extreme heat is typical of the summer months across the Southwest, it proved to be deadly across Arizona as at least five hikers lost their lives.
At least one flight was diverted away from landing in the Southwest due to the heat.
With Death Valley, California, only reaching a maximum temperature of 126 F, the highest temperature on record in the United States during the month of June of 129 F in Death Valley, California, on June 30, 2013, will remain.
The hot, dry weather ignited several large fires across the region, including the Border Fire outside of San Diego, the Sherpa Fire in Santa Barbara County, California, and the Fish and Reservoir fires which combined into the San Gabriel Complex Fire outside of Los Angeles.
Highs will still run above average across much of the Southwest into the weekend.
“As the center of the high shifts eastward, the record-breaking heat will come to an end, but temperatures will still run 5-10 degrees above average,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.
Those spending time outside will need to take frequent breaks and should avoid strenuous activity.
A trip to the Los Angeles Basin or San Diego can be planned to beat the heat. Temperatures here will be nearly 20 degrees lower than the hottest days of the recent heat wave.
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