(AP) – The heat wave 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, here are five facts about the punishing nature of the heat.
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 day 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. But sweltering heat is often a big draw for visitors to Death Valley National Park _ especially tourists from Europe _ with hotels already booked solid during the hotter months of July and August.
As if temperatures nearing 120 degrees weren’t bad enough, it’s even hotter 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.
It’s common in cities like Phoenix to see pet owners place booties on the paws of their dogs to keep the animals from burning on the blazing heat of streets and sidewalks. As a result, pet owners are urged to walk their dogs during morning and evening hours to protect them from the heat.
Bigger jetliners can handle temperatures around 126 and 127 degrees, but airlines are 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 easiest way to beat the heat in cities such as Phoenix is to flee the desert for higher-elevation mountain cities such as Flagstaff, Sedona and Prescott. But there won’t be much of a break from during this hot spell. Flagstaff could approach the record Saturday of 97 degrees, and Sedona could be in the 110 range.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon