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‘Dangerous’ heatwave grips southwestern US


‘Dangerous’ heatwave grips southwestern US

Heatwave starting on Wednesday is expected to flag “excessive heat warnings” in some parts of California, Nevada and Arizona states.

Death Valley, lying between California and Nevada, is known as one of the hottest places on earth, yet, this year it was hit by flash flooding.
Death Valley, lying between California and Nevada, is known as one of the hottest places on earth, yet, this year it was hit by flash flooding.
(National Park Service / AP)

A “dangerous” heatwave is taking hold of the southwestern United States, with punishing temperatures expected for the next week.

Forecasters said on Tuesday the mercury could reach as high as 44 Celsius in the densely populated Los Angeles suburbs as a heat dome settles in over parts of California, Nevada and Arizona.

“Dangerously hot conditions expected through the week,” the National Weather Service (NWS) warned.

“A prolonged period of excessive heat will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities,” the NWS said.

“Those without access to adequate or reliable cooling or hydration will be at most risk, but much of the population could be susceptible to impacts as well.”

Nighttime temperatures are not expected to offer much relief, with lows struggling to get below 26.6 Celsius in many places.

Things were heating up in and around Los Angeles on Tuesday, with inland areas already experiencing stifling temperatures.

But, said David Sweet, a meteorologist at the NWS in Oxnard, California, it is going to get worse.

“We’re looking at a heatwave starting on Wednesday and continuing through at least Monday of next week,” he told the AFP news agency.

“During that time, we’ll be looking at conditions hot enough to warrant an excessive heat warning,” he added.

US Death Valley set to claim record for world’s hottest temperature

Global heating

It is not unusual for southern California to experience heatwaves in September but temperatures above 37.7 Celsius are considered hot even for a place almost perpetually baked by sunshine.

The heat wave comes after swathes of the southwest were lashed with torrential rains over recent weeks.

Some areas, including the notoriously dusty and hot Death Valley, suffered flooding, and one person died after being swept away in Zion National Park in Utah.

Scientists say global heating, which is being driven chiefly by humanity’s unending appetite for the power that fossil fuel provides, is making natural weather variations more extreme.

Heatwaves are getting hotter and more intense, while storms are getting wetter and, in many cases, more dangerous.
Source: AFP

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