Heat records tumble across southwest US as temps soar

Scott SonnerAP
The temperature has reached 44C in Las Vegas, as heat coninues to scorch across the southeast US. (AP PHOTO)
Camera IconThe temperature has reached 44C in Las Vegas, as heat coninues to scorch across the southeast US. (AP PHOTO) Credit: AAP

Records have tumbled across the US Southwest as temperatures soared past 44C in some areas, and the region's first heat wave for 2024 was expected to maintain its grip for at least another day.

Although the official start of summer was still two weeks away, about half of Arizona, California and Nevada were under an excessive heat alert, which the National Weather Service said it was extending until Friday evening.

At a campaign rally for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Phoenix on Thursday, 11 people fell ill from heat exhaustion by late afternoon and were taken to the hospital, where they were treated and released, fire officials said.

The weather service in Phoenix described the city experiencing "dangerously hot conditions".

And in Las Vegas, the Clark County Fire Department said it has responded to at least 12 calls for heat exposure since Wednesday. Nine of those calls ended with a patient needing treatment in hospital.

Record highs on Thursday included 45C in Phoenix, breaking the old mark of 44C set in 2016, and 44C in Las Vegas, topping the 43C last reached in 2010. Other areas of Arizona, California and Nevada also broke records by a few degrees.

The heat has arrived weeks earlier than usual even in places farther to the north at higher elevations - areas typically a dozen degrees cooler. That includes Reno, Nevada, where the normal high of 27C for this time of year soared to a record 37C on Thursday.

The National Weather Service in Reno forecast mild cooling this weekend, but only by a few degrees. In central and southern Arizona, that will still means triple-digit highs, even up to 43C.

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