LAS VEGAS — Nearly a week of extreme heat is sweeping the Southwest, causing all-time high temperatures in cities from Washington to Arizona.

In Las Vegas, where summer temperatures routinely break into triple digits, a pair of longstanding records are being shattered: On Sunday, the temperature reached 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest the city has ever been. And on Wednesday, temperatures are expected to once again surpass 115 for a fifth straight day, the hottest five-day stretch in the city’s history.

“This is the most extreme heat wave in the history of record-keeping in Las Vegas since 1937,” meteorologist John Adair told The Associated Press.

The heat wave is expected to continue through the rest of the week in many parts of the West.

Across the country, some 160 million Americans were under excessive heat warning Tuesday, the highest-level alert. Much of them were in the West: The Pacific Northwest is seeing temperatures 10 to 30 degrees above average for this time of year, USA Today reported.


Phoenix broke its daily temperature record when it hit 118 on Monday. In California and Oregon, officials have confirmed eight suspected heat-related deaths since last week.

In Las Vegas, the heat has turned the Strip, usually a bustling tourist destination during the summer months, into a pedestrian ghost town. “It’s so hot,” said Phylicia Allen, who works at a frozen drinks stand near the Strip. “It’s super slow for a Tuesday.”

Allen, who moved to Nevada from San Diego a decade ago, says she doesn’t look at the thermometer. “I measure it by ‘hot,’ to ‘hotter,’ to ‘hottest.’” she said. “Right now, we’re in ‘hottest.’”

The record temperatures may be dissuading tourists, said Andrea Montibeller, a visitor from Guanajuato, Mexico. “I feel like I opened the oven door, and I feel the hot air rushing onto my face,” Montibeller said. “I think my eyelashes will burn off.”

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