More than 80 million people are being warned of sweltering temperatures Saturday as an early-season heat wave sweeps across the Southwest U.S. and into California to the west and Arkansas to the east.
On Saturday, National Weather Service stations in Phoenix, Albuquerque, Houston and San Antonio warned of extreme heat exceeding 110 degrees in some areas. Nearly all of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas are under heat advisories.
As the heat wave spread north and east through the afternoon, most of Missouri and parts of Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi were also put under heat advisories, according to the National Weather Service.
This after Phoenix and Las Vegas on Friday reported record daily highs, according to the NWS. Arizona’s capital city reached 113 degrees, surpassing its previous record of 111 set in 1978. Las Vegas hit 109, breaking the previous record, set in 1996, by 1 degree.
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And, in New Mexico, Albuquerque reached 100 degrees for the first time this year.
“It’s really the first big heat wave of the season,” NWS forecaster Bryan Jackson told USA TODAY on Friday. “It catches people off-guard.”
AccuWeather forecasters and NWS stations across the Southwest have warned that temperatures will be 5 to 10 degrees above normal averages this weekend.
Southwestern Arizona and southeastern California are expected to have highs of 110 to 115 degrees through the weekend. It’ll be hottest in Death Valley, where it’s expected to top 120 degrees for the first time this year.
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To stay safe, the NWS recommends people stay indoors, seek out air-conditioned buildings, drink water, wear lightweight and light-colored clothing, and check-in with others.
“Heat is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. This is something to watch out for,” Jackson said. “So, just a repeat of taking care of yourself and your neighbors.”
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“This is a significant heat wave, particularly early in the season for June, that works its way across the country over the next five days,” Jackson said.