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Dangerously hot conditions and triple-digit temperatures are forecast for the western United States this week, causing a wave of heat warnings and warnings from central California and Nevada to Washington.
Temperatures reached 108 degrees on Tuesday and were forecast to be 107 degrees in the San Joaquin Valley in central California on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. While the temperatures in Fresno were 16 to 18 degrees above normal for this time of year, they fell short of the records. Fresno’s high was 104 on Tuesday.
In Redding, Northern California, temperatures hit 106 on Tuesday, a day after peaking at 109 and breaking the previous record of 103 set in 2016. Meteorologists said. An excessive heat warning will remain in place over parts of the valley and foothills through Wednesday, with highs between the upper 90s and 105s.
In Nevada, Las Vegas saw his first 100 degree day of the year on Monday, followed by another three-digit day – 103 – on Tuesday. Areas around the city and directly across the California state line in Death Valley will be under an excessive heat warning from Wednesday morning to Friday evening, the weather service said. Temperatures can rise as high as 118 in Death Valley.
A heat warning also applies to the central and southeastern parts of Washington, including the cities of Clarkston, Pomeroy and Bridgeport, until Thursday evening, the weather service said. High temperatures could hit the lower 100s. Similar humid conditions are predicted for parts of western Oregon.
Seattle hit a high of 86 degrees on Tuesday, falling short of the daily record of 94 degrees. However, the city has reached the mid-80s on June 1 only four percent of the time in the past 75 years.
Hot weather is also the order of the day for Montana on Wednesday and Thursday with high temperatures into the upper 80s and upper 90s. High temperatures could reach 15 to 25 degrees above normal, meteorologists said.
Above-average temperatures are the trend in the recent past. Last year, 2016 was the hottest year on record, according to European climate researchers. To make matters worse, a severe drought devastated the entire western half of the United States, from the Pacific coast to the Great Basin and the desert in the southwest to the Rocky Mountains and the Northern Plains.
Weather forecasters have advised residents to stay hydrated, wear light clothing outdoors, limit outdoor exposure, and watch for signs of heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Older adults and children are most at risk, said the weather service.
A recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change found that more than a third of heat-related deaths in many parts of the world are due to the additional warming associated with climate change. The study found that warm season heat-related deaths increased by an average of 37 percent, an increase of 20 to 76 percent.
Claire Fahy contributed to the coverage.