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Dangerous heat to challenge records in southwestern US by next week

Staff Writer |
Heat will build to dangerous, record-challenging levels in the southwestern United States this Father's Day weekend and continue through much of next week.

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While heat is expected during the summer in the Southwest, temperatures climbing to 5 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit above average will translate to highs reaching the 110s to near 120 in the deserts, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark.

"The weather pattern will bring the hottest weather of the year so far to many areas in the Southwest," Clark said.

Cities poised to have their hottest weather this year and challenge record highs include Phoenix, Las Vegas and Sacramento, California. Downtown Los Angeles can expect multiple days with highs near 90.

Even Flagstaff, Arizona, at an elevation above 6,000 feet, will climb into the 90s during many days next week.

Intense June sunshine, light winds and the anticipated temperatures can be a lethal combination. Heat is the leader in direct fatalities related to weather, according to the National Weather Service.

People are urged to avoid strenuous activity during the midday and afternoon hours and drink plenty of fluids to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

Consuming excess alcohol can increase the risk of and accelerate dehydration, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Be sure to check frequently on young children and the elderly as they are most susceptible to the heat.

Air conditioner usage will push energy demands to high levels in the coming days over the region.

People can conserve energy by turning off the unit when no one is home or by closing doors or vents in rooms that are not in use.

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