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It’s hot across the West. Here’s how hot it really is

How hot is it right now?

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A cyclist bikes where temperatures hit 115 degrees Tuesday.

A cyclist bikes past the setting sun at Papago Park during a heatwave where temperatures hit 115 degrees Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Phoenix.

Associated Press

It’s hot. Like, really, really hot. And the Western United States might see only more extreme heat for the next few days.

How hot is it?

The Western United States met multiple temperature records on Monday and Tuesday as temperatures crept up to triple digits in West, according to NBC News.

Extreme heat has hit Utah, California, Nevada and Arizona, as well as other Western states. Some areas of the Southwest saw temperatures reach 120 degrees, according to The Guardian.

  • For example, Denver, Colorado, and Helena, Montana, saw 104-degree temperatures on Monday, breaking records. And those records were shattered by multiple degrees, “so the fact many were obliterated by large margins speaks to the intensity of the heat that’s baking that part of the country,” according to NBC News.

Per The Guardian, more than 48 million people in the West are under a heat watch or warning.

How hot is it in Utah?

Consider the Salt Lake City airport, which recorded its highest temperature ever in the last 147 years at 107 degrees — which happened only twice before (in July 2002 and July 1960), according to the National Weather Service.

In fact, per the National Weather Service, there was a list of records that were met on Tuesday. For example, downtown Salt Lake City tied its record of 103 degrees, which was last seen in 2017.

Any end in sight?

Nope. Per NBC News, “there’s not much relief in sight, as the extreme heat across the West will only intensify and become more widespread through the rest of the week.”

Is this normal?

Not really. Most heatwaves like this come around July and August, according to The Guardian. But this run of heat will stretch through this entire week of June.

Per The Guardian, the NWS Climate Prediction Center “anticipates that temperatures will continue to be higher than normal through the summer.”

  • “This type of heat is unusual for the month of June,” Julie Malingowski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told The Guardian.