It’s not just Carson City; West is sweltering | NevadaAppeal.com
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It’s not just Carson City; West is sweltering

The heat wave that is gripping the western U.S. is one of the worst in years, with desert locations in the Southwest seeing temperatures approach 120 degrees. To give some perspective on the heat, here are five facts about the punishing nature of the heat wave.

DEATH VALLEY

The desert valley in California will see temperatures approach 130 degrees. The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth occurred in Death Valley with a reading of 134 degrees, almost 100 years ago to the date in 1913. The park is dotted with locations such as Furnace Creek and Dante's View, and officials are urging people to exercise extreme caution during the heat wave. But sweltering heat is often a big draw for visitors to Death Valley National Park — especially tourists from Germany and France — with hotels already booked solid during the hotter months of July and August.

NO ESCAPE

The easiest way to beat the heat in cities like Phoenix is to flee the desert for higher-elevation mountain cities such as Flagstaff, Sedona and Prescott which typically are much cooler. But there won't be much of a break from a heat during this hot spell. Flagstaff could approach the record Saturday of 97 degrees, and Sedona could be in the 110 range.

BE CAREFUL

As if temperatures nearing 120 degrees weren't bad enough, it's even hotter yet inside cars and on concrete and asphalt roads and sidewalks. It can get to 200 degrees on asphalt during peak summer temperatures, presenting all sorts of hazards. Drivers should keep pets and children out of locked cars, and a person who suffers a fall on a sidewalk or a street could end up in the burn unit.

AIRLINES

Bigger jetliners can handle temperatures around 126 and 127 degrees, but airlines this weekend will be closely monitoring the conditions and smaller planes may have flights delayed. When the temperature gets real hot, the air becomes less dense and changes liftoff conditions.

THE BORDER

Immigrants are constantly crossing the border in Arizona regardless of the season — sometimes with deadly consequences as they succumb to exhaustion and dehydration. At least seven bodies of immigrants have been found in the last week in Arizona, and agents in the Tucson sector rescued more than 170 people from the desert during a 30-day stretch in May and June when temperatures were even lower than expected in the coming days.

Nevada Citizens and Visitors Prepare for Impending Record Breaking Temperatures.

The National Weather Service reports a high confidence level in a prolonged and potentially historic heat wave occurring from Friday, June 28th through at least Tuesday, July 2nd throughout Nevada. Excessive Heat Warnings are in effect from 11:00 a.m. Friday through 8:00 p.m. Tuesday.

Residents and visitors can expect temperatures to reach forecasted levels ranging from 100 to117 degrees through July 2nd, with potential to tie or break all-time record highs throughout the state.

Extremely high or unusually hot temperatures can affect your health. On average, 675 deaths from extreme heat events occur each year in the United States. Most vulnerable are the elderly, those who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor, and people with a chronic medical condition. Pets are also at risk for heat-related illness, if left unattended. Residents and visitors are encouraged to:

Remain inside during the hottest hours of the day, if possible.

Dress in loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing.

Avoid strenuous work during the hottest part of the day.

Stay hydrated; do not wait until thirsty.

Avoid leaving pets in vehicles or in unprotected outdoor spaces. Provide plenty of water.

Curtail outdoor activities for vulnerable populations.

Check on at risk friends, family, and neighbors at least twice per day.

Know what to do in a heat emergency to recognize signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Check your local television broadcasts or radio stations for extreme heat warnings and safety tips.

For more information on safety during this type of heat event, please access information from the following sources:

Plan Ahead Nevada (p. 16): http://dps.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/dpsnvgov/content/Citizen/evacuationguide_PAN.pdf

American Red Cross – Southern Nevada Chapter: http://www.redcross.org/nv/las-vegas

American Red Cross – Northern Nevada Chapter: http://www.redcross.org/nv/reno

CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.asp

National Weather Service – Reno: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/rev/

National Weather Service – Elko: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/lkn/

National Weather Service – Las Vegas: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/vef/