Residents of some western states may see intense heat this weekend, with temperatures forecasted to reach far above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 C).
The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Sacramento warns everyone to be prepared for dangerous heat conditions. “This heat will impact everyone, not just those sensitive to heat risk!” the agency said in a tweet.
An “extreme heat watch” has been issued for southern Arizona and nearby parts of California. Isolated areas, inlcuding around Phoenix, have a “very high” heat risk – which NWS means that people can “quickly succumb to the effects of these dangerous temperatures.”
NWS warns that local temperatures could reach around 113 F (45 C) in Phoenix, near 108 F (42 C) in Las Vegas and over 100 F (38 C) through California’s central valley.
NWS Las Vegas encouraged residents to prepare to hydrate, stay indoors and check on older people.
But many areas will have a Level 4 heat risk, the highest risk level, this weekend – meaning everyone, not just the most at-risk individuals, should stay cautious.
Last year’s devastating heatwave in the Pacific Northwest – which absolutely shattered local records and killed hundreds of people in the US and Canada – was found to be “virtually impossible” if not for the climate crisis by a leading group of scientists.
Further warming is likely to exacerbate these trends. While the world has already warmed by about 1 degree Celsius, current policies and actions have us on track for 2.7 C of warming by 2100, according to the Climate Action Tracker.