A wave of record-setting, life-threatening heat is expected to blaze across the West this weekend, with temperatures in some areas projected to top 120 degrees.
The cause is a high pressure system that will scorch a long arm of the Southwest. Temperatures in Phoenix and Las Vegas are expected to soar into the triple digits, with temperatures hovering between 115 and 120 degrees. In western parts of Arizona, temperatures could reach 125.
Officials in Arizona warned residents to take precautions.
“If you get dizzy or lightheaded, those are some signs of dehydration. If you become confused, that’s a real warning sign,” Dr. Kevin Reilly of the University of Arizona Department of Emergency Medicine.
In Las Vegas, meanwhile, the National Weather Service warned of the potential for a “life-threatening heat event.” Temperatures were expected to match those of a July 2005 heat wave when 17 people died in the Las Vegas Valley.
The extreme weather is expected to reach Reno, Nev., reach across Utah and stretch into Wyoming and Idaho, where forecasters are predicting potentially lethal hot spells. Triple-digit temperatures were forecast during Idaho’s Special Olympics in Boise.
Runners take advantage of lower temperatures at sunrise Thursday in Mesa, Ariz. Excessive heat warnings will continue for much of the Desert Southwest as building high pressure triggers major warming in eastern California, Nevada and Arizona.
Organizers urged coaches to prepare their athletes.