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News > U.S.

Triple-Digit Heat Roasts US West Amid Record Drought

  • Wildfires in Yosemite, U.S., July 13, 2022.

    Wildfires in Yosemite, U.S., July 13, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @AniDasguptaWRI

Published 20 July 2022

America's "Four Corners" region is the heart of the arid southwest and features Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, all suffering from record drought and heat conditions.

As temperatures in London soared to a record-smashing 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40.2 degrees Celsius), in Dever, Colorado, temperatures set three records from Monday to Tuesday.


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Denver's muggy 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22.2 degrees Celsius) weather Tuesday morning tied a record from 1881 for the warmest low temperature for July 19, a day after it broke two other heat records, one dating back to 1878. Monday morning's 70 degrees Fahrenheit broke a 144-year-old mark for warmest low temperature for July 18, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

A few hours later on Monday afternoon, the mercury hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius), a new record high for the date, topping 99 degrees Fahrenheit (37.2 degrees Celsius) set in three years -- 1998, 2019, and 2020. "It is not just the weather -- our climate is warming!" tweeted Mike Nelson, a meteorologist with the Denver Channel.

Monday's high temperature brings Denver to sixth place in terms of the most 100-degree Fahrenheit days in a year so far in 2022, with more hot summer days likely ahead. Showers Tuesday afternoon that "slowly moved across the region brought some much-needed rain to areas," and cooler temperatures, the NWS reported. But south and west of Colorado, other American states were not so lucky.

In Colorado's neighbor to the west, Utah, "Salt Lake City tied an all-time high record Sunday," the Salt Lake Tribune reported, with a high of 107 degrees Fahrenheit (41.7 degrees Celsius) matching an all-time heat record for the area set in 1960. Salt Lake City could stay in triple digit temperatures until July 24, which would tie another record.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised that across the region, residents stay inside air-conditioned buildings, not to rely on fans as primary cooling devices, to drink water steadily throughout the day, be careful about spending time outside and wear sunscreen, and avoid using oven or stoves inside as they would generate heat.

The heatwave also affects Southern California, a traditionally more moderate area. In Los Angeles, an "excessive heat warning" was effective until 10 p.m. Wednesday, with the NWS reporting "dangerously hot conditions and high temperatures in the San Joaquin Valley."

"Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat exhaustion and heat stroke particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities," the NWS said Tuesday. In Nevada, temperatures in Las Vegas crested 110 degrees Fahrenheit Tuesday and were predicted to stay above that hot mark for the rest of the week.

To the south, in Arizona, much of the same was predicted by weather-forecasting service agency AccuWeather, with temperatures between 110-114 Fahrenheit (43.3 to 45.6 degrees Celsius) through Friday, as powerful monsoon storms over the weekend caused flooding and "wreaked havoc," leaving thousands without power on Monday.

"Areas of North Mesa got almost an inch and a half of rain with wind gusts up to 80 miles an hour, knocking down large transmission towers, trees, and cacti in many parts of the East Valley, CBS5 News Phoenix reported.

"More than 40,000 customers lost power" beginning Sunday night through Monday as "a sudden microburst near Gilbert just west of Phoenix destroyed several mobile homes but miraculously left none injured," News 5 added.

In New Mexico, "Extreme Heat Advisories" were issued on Tuesday, as temperatures crested near the 100-degree Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) mark.

America's "Four Corners" region -- the only place in the country where four states meet on one point -- is the heart of the arid southwest and features Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, all suffering from record drought and heat conditions.

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