More than 80 million people are being warned for sweltering temperatures Saturday as an early-season heatwave sweeps across the southwestern United States 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 extremely high temperatures exceeding 110 degrees in some areas. Nearly all of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas are under heat warnings.
As the heatwave spread north and east throughout the afternoon, most of Missouri and parts of Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi were also placed in heat, according to the Weather Service.
This comes after Phoenix and Las Vegas on Friday reported record daily highs, according to the NWS. Arizona’s capital reached 113 degrees, surpassing the previous record of 111 degrees set in 1978. Las Vegas reached 109 degrees, breaking the previous record set in 1996, by 1 degree.
According to the weather service:
- Waco hit 104 degrees, hitting that temperature on the earliest recorded date in history and surpassing the previous 103 mark from 1911.
- Austin also comes out on top at 104, surpassing the previous record of 101 last recorded in 2012 at Camp Mabry.
- El Paso broke last year’s record by 1 degree, reaching 107 degrees.
- Abilene also climbed to 107, breaking the previous high of 105 set in 2012.
- Amarillo hit a high of 106, topping the old record of 102 from 2008.
And, in New Mexico, Albuquerque hit 100 degrees on Saturday after hitting triple digits on Friday for the first time this year.
Phoenix and Las Vegas, meanwhile, matched Saturday’s daily records of 114 and 109 degrees, respectively.
“It was really the first major heatwave of the season,” NWS forecaster Bryan Jackson told USA TODAY on Friday.
AccuWeather forecasters and NWS stations across the Southwest have warned that temperatures will be 5 to 10 degrees above normal this weekend.
Southwest Arizona and southeastern California are expected to see peak temperatures of 110 to 115 degrees throughout the weekend. It will be the hottest in Death Valley, where it is predicted to peak at 120 degrees for the first time this year.
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HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORDING? How to stay safe during a heat wave
A scorching heat on Friday prompted the University of California, Davis, to cut its graduation ceremony short after the campus received 36 calls from people requesting medical assistance. Most requests were for heat-related illness, the university said in a statement. Seven people were taken to a local hospital.
Two records fell Friday in California: Paso Robles, on the state’s central coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco, hit 106 degrees, topping the previous record of 105 from 1991, and Lancaster, to the north. LA County, hit 104, breaking the 1985 record by 1 degree.
To stay safeThe NWS recommends that people stay indoors, seek air-conditioned buildings, drink water, wear light and light-colored clothing, and check in with others.
“Hot heat is one of the leading causes of weather-related deaths,” says Jackson. This is something to watch out for. “So just repeat taking care of yourself and your neighbors.”
High pressure is the cause weekend heat waveforecasters say.
“This is a significant heatwave, particularly in the early part of the June season, that will roll across the country over the next five days,” Jackson said.
Contributors: Jeanine Santucci and Claire Thornton, USA TODAY; Related press