Las Vegas hits all-time temperature record

By John Mercury July 9, 2024

Las Vegas has hit its all-time temperature record amid an ongoing widespread heatwave along the US West Coast.

The city in Nevada recorded 49C (120F) for the first time on Sunday – a day after the temperature reached 46C (115F) there, which tied with a record set in 2007.

Temperatures are running as much as 20 degrees above normal for this time of year in some places, according to National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Bryan Jackson.

“We’ve got a real expansive and extreme heatwave ongoing, and it’s expected to continue this week,” he said.

Around 36 million people are under an excessive heat warning, while about one million face excessive heat watches, including in eastern Oregon, northeastern Nevada and southwestern Idaho.

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The NWS is also warning of increased wildfire risks due to a mix of hot, dry and windy conditions.

Forecasters say the heatwave could break previous records across the US, including in Death Valley, California. Pic: AP
Forecasters say the heatwave could break previous records across the US, including in Death Valley, California. Pic: AP

Sky News weather producer Joanna Robinson said further records are likely to be broken.

“It’s all down to an upper-level ridge sitting over the west of the USA, which will keep a blocked pattern, with sinking air helping to increase the pressure and temperature at the surface,” she said.

“That will allow the ongoing extreme heat in the area to continue this week, with further records likely to be broken.

“The heatwave will allow temperatures to reach the high 40s and possibly low 50s in Celsius for parts of inland California.

“From mid-week, the heat is expected to shift from California and Oregon, heading northwards to Washington state and eastwards over the Great Basin and Arizona.

“The Earth’s highest recorded temperature stands at 134F (56.7C), which was seen at Death Valley – not too far away from Las Vegas – back in 1913, but some question its accuracy.”

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Temperatures reached a high of 53.3C (128F) on Saturday and Sunday at Death Valley National Park in eastern California, where a motorcyclist died from heat exposure and another person was taken to hospital for “severe heat illness”, officials said.

They were part of a group of six motorcyclists riding through the Badwater Basin area. The other members of the party were treated at the scene.

“We encourage visitors to choose their activities carefully, avoiding prolonged periods of time outside of an air-conditioned vehicle or building when temperatures are this high,” Superintendent Mike Reynolds said.

The last 12 months have all been over the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees of global warming, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Analysis by the EU’s climate monitoring service found global average temperatures from June 2023 to May 2024 were 1.63 degrees above the 1850-1900 “pre-industrial” baseline.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for urgent action to avert “climate hell”.


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