The first heat wave of 2022, extending from California to Texas, is forcing temperatures well into triple digits this week.
The National Weather Service issued excessive heat warnings for counties across the Western United States, especially parts of California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.
What does the forecast look like?
Friday, June 10, is when the brunt of the heat wave will occur, with most of the heat warnings expiring the same day.
But areas like Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and San Diego, along with their nearby counties, will experience extreme heat through Sunday.
According to CNN, these extreme temperatures, ranging from as low as the upper 90s to as high as 120, will affect 30 million people.
The National Weather Service defines a heat wave as “abnormally hot weather generally lasting more than two days,” which impacts everything from transportation to agriculture.
What precautions to take during the heat wave?
The weather service has made some recommendations on how to survive the heat wave, along with some warnings.
- Be extra cautious if working outside.
- Reschedule laborious activities to mornings and evenings.
- Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Wear breathable and loose fitting clothes.
- Overcome the heat by finding shelter in a cool and shaded area.
What to expect in the summer?
This particular heat wave may subside, but this summer will likely be a scorching one.
Abnormally high temperatures are expected across “all of the lower 48 states in June, July and August, except for small areas in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains,” according to a recent New York Times report.
The ongoing drought, which takes away moisture from the soil and plants — both of which are required for cooling — only makes things worse.
“Basically, the drier the air, the easier it is to get to a high temperature,” Bryan Jackson, who works at the Weather Prediction Center, told CNN.
“When there’s more humidity, the temperature can be suppressed.”