Almost the entire state of California will be affected by this heat wave in addition to large metro areas in the southwest. Numerous daily temperature records are broken and some records may also be in danger.
While the southwest may be known for its warm temperatures, these numbers are extreme.
A “very high”
“Very high” simply means that the entire population, not just the elderly or people who are ill, will have a very high risk of heat-related illness due to its long duration and lack of relief overnight.
Utah’s current temperature record is 117 degrees. The city of St George can meet or exceed that record Saturday.
Las Vegas has the potential to set a new high-temperature record all weekend. The current full-time elevation is 117 degrees, and the National Weather Service predicts at least that temperature for Saturday and Sunday.
Sacramento also has the chance to break the all-time high of 114 degrees this weekend.
The low temperatures in Las Vegas on Saturday and Sunday morning are expected to be 94 and 93 degrees, respectively. In Phoenix, the low temperatures are unlikely to fall below 91 degrees.
This is a problem because these temperatures do not allow the body to cool down successfully at night. The temperature must drop to at least 80 degrees for recovery to begin. In fact, a person can lose up to 2 liters of fluid overnight by sweating if the temperature does not fall below 85 degrees.
Heat affecting the electricity grid
On Thursday, the independent system operator in California (ISO) said in a press release that “extreme temperatures over large parts of California” could lead to a “potential capacity deficit on the state power grid.”
Residents were asked to voluntarily save electricity between 6 p.m. 16 and 21 on Friday to “ease the load on the grid during the crucial evening hours when solar energy is reduced or no longer available.”
The concern is that as the extreme heat is expected to continue through the weekend, demand will exceed supply. California ISO warned that if this happens, rotary power outages will be implemented.
This comes after record heat in June.
Eight states recorded their hottest June on record: Arizona, California, Idaho, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Utah.
Just over 15% of the United States observed record highs all the time last month, the highest NOAA ever reported.
All the while, it was set northwest on June 27 and 28, including state records in Washington and Oregon. Researchers reported this week that the heat wave in late June in the northwest Pacific would have been “almost impossible” without the impact of man-made climate change.
With even more records possibly breaking this weekend, the concern is whether the grid will be able to keep up with demand.
CNN meteorologists Jennifer Gray and Hannah Gard contributed to this report.