Heat wave smashes temperature records in Southwest

Heat wave smashes temperature records in Southwest
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A string of cities in the southwestern United States saw record warmth this week as a heat wave sizzled in the region. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration collected the temperature records after days of triple-digit heat descended on Arizona, Nevada and southern California and published them on Thursday. 

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Extreme heat gave Phoenix its fifth-hottest day on record — a 118-degree scorcher on Sunday. That same day, Tucson, Ariz. hit 115 degrees, its third-hottest day ever. Yuma, Ariz., meantime, topped out at 120 degrees, its fourth-hottest day on record, while Santa Fe’s mark of 102 degrees tied its heat record.  

Arizona wasn’t the only state to see near-record heat. Burbank, Calif., (111 degrees) and Las Vegas (115 degrees) both broke daily heat records on Monday. And Needles, Calif.,  hit 125 degrees on Monday, its hottest mark ever for June. The 98-degree low temperature in the Arizona-California border town on Tuesday was a new record hot monthly low, as well.

NOAA said the heat wave can be traced to an area of high pressure planted over the region. And the heat didn’t end this week. The Arizona Republic on Thursday predicted a high of 111 for Phoenix, with temperatures pushing 112 degrees by Sunday.

The weather, besides breaking records, turned deadly as well: at least four hikers in Arizona died as a result of the heat, The Washington Post reports

The heat has also lead to wildfires in the region, with 65,000 acres having burned in Arizona, 53,000 acres in New Mexico and 5,000 acres outside of Los Angeles.