Phoenix and Las Vegas are expected stay in the triple digits throughout the week, though Tuesday was supposed to be the hottest day of the week.
The high heat, which the National Weather Service has warned about since last week, stretches into parts of California. On Tuesday local time, the mercury in Death Valley, California, known as the hottest place in North America, rose to some 52 degrees Celsius, or 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Even in typically cooler San Francisco, residents are baking during 88-degree days early this week.
Temperatures are expected to fall below the 100-degree mark after 8 p.m., so perhaps passengers will be able to travel beyond that. Overnight lows aren’t going to drop below the upper 80s in parts of Arizona.
The first day of summer brought some of the worst heat the Southwest U.S. has seen in years. Phoenix radio station KSLX handed out the protective coverings to protect dogs’ paws from the hot pavement, as temperatures in Phoenix are forecasted to hit 120 degrees. Seven flights were canceled due to weather on Monday, when the temperature reached 118 degrees, rounding out the total to 50 weather-related cancellations in two days.
The cancellations are now affecting shorter, regional flights which use Bombardier CRJ Aircrafts, American Airlines said in a statement Monday. American Airlines said large jets withstand temperatures can withstand temperatures up to 126 or 127 degrees. Here, the hot air is less dense than cold air, and the hotter the temperature is, the more speed a plane requires to lift off. At that point, “things begin to break down”, he said. All eyes will be on Phoenix, which is ground zero for the heat wave.
“It’s physically impossible for those individuals to carry enough water”, said Border Patrol Agent Vicente Paco, patrolling near the Mexican border in the Sonora Desert south of Tucson. In the weeks leading up to the beginning of monsoon season, temperatures in Arizona, New Mexico, southern Nevada and Southern California typically climb to the highest they’ll be all year. You may not realize you’re overheating, because sweat evaporates instantaneously in such dry conditions, but you can quickly suffer from heat stress in these conditions. If temperatures continue to rise, Denver could be facing problems similar to Phoenix.
The soaring heat has affected much of the western United States where triple-digit temperatures were expected throughout the week, a spokeswoman for the National Weather Service said. “It’ll be interesting to see how this impacts the Gulf carriers in particular – Etihad, Qatar Airways, and Emirates – whose hub airports are located in one the world’s hottest regions”.
Most of the canceled flights were shorter distance, regional flights because of the smaller planes they utilize.