Extreme heat warnings and watches have been posted in several western states for the period through at least Monday.From West Texas north to Oregon and Idaho,and east to Colorado and New Mexico.the mercury is threatening to reach near record or record levels.
Death Valley,California,which owns the world record for heat at 134 degrees Fahrenheit,is expected to reach 129.Record highs may occur in such cities as Flagstaff,Arizona;Reno,Nevada;as well as Las Vegas.
Phoenix,Arizona may near 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Isolated storms with little rain,known as dry thunderstorms,may strike the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains and Great Basin,threatening wildfire outbreaks in those areas already hot and tinder dry.
The heat is being caused by a stubborn dome of high pressure,preventing cloud formation and rainfall.
Meanwhile,the East has been soaked by repeated thunderstorms in recent days,which may extend well into next week.Tropical air has parked itself over the region,threatening flash flooding in many locales.
Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are distinct possibilities in areas under heat warnings and watches,possibly with fatal consequences.Cooling centers are being set up in these communities.