Phoenix, Las Vegas bake in scorching heat

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. — Scorching heat blistered the Southwest on Saturday, where highs between 115 and 120 degrees were recorded for parts of Arizona, Nevada and California.

Forecasters said temperatures in sunbaked Las Vegas shot up to 115 degrees on Saturday afternoon, two degrees short of the city’s all-time record.

Phoenix hit 119 degrees by mid-afternoon, breaking the record for June 29 that was set in 1994. And large swaths of California sweltered under extreme heat warnings, which are expected to last into Tuesday night — and maybe even longer.

The forecast for Death Valley called for 128 degrees Saturday, but it was 3 degrees shy of that, according to unofficial reports from the National Weather Service. Death Valley’s record high of 134 degrees, set a century ago, stands as the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth.

A couple hours south in Baker, the temperature peaked at an unofficial 117 degrees in the road tripper’s oasis in the Mojave Desert on Interstate 15. The strip of gas stations and restaurants between Los Angeles and Las Vegas is known by travelers for the giant thermometer that often notes temperatures in the triple digits.

At the Mad Greek restaurant there, a waitress called out orders for “Chocolate shake! Strawberry shake!” while the temperature hovered at 112 degrees during the lunch rush.

In Southern California, Riverside saw 105 degrees, and Palm Springs reached 122 degrees. At Lancaster Fox Field in Los Angeles County, temperatures reached 111, a record.

To make matters worse, National Weather Service meteorologists John Dumas said cooling ocean breezes haven’t been traveling far enough inland overnight to fan Southern California’s overheated valleys and deserts.

Burbank set a record overnight low with temperatures dipping to 74 degrees overnight, much warmer than the previous record of 68 degrees for Saturday’s early hours.

In Northern California, temperatures Saturday reached the upper 90s in San Jose. Farther north, triple-digit temps were reached in downtown Sacramento on Saturday, according to the weather service.

Authorities say a man died and another was hospitalized in serious condition Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas fire and rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski says paramedics responded to a home with no air conditioning and found an elderly man dead. He says while the man had medical issues, paramedics thought his condition was aggravated by the heat.

Paramedics say another elderly man was on a long trip in his car when the air conditioning went out. Paramedics say he taken to the hospital in serious condition with heat stroke after he stopped in Las Vegas.

Cooling stations were set up to shelter the homeless and elderly people who can’t afford to run their air conditioners. In Phoenix, Joe Arpaio, the famously hard-nosed sheriff who runs a tent jail, planned to distribute ice cream and cold towels to inmates this weekend.

Officials said personnel were added to the Border Patrol’s search-and-rescue unit because of the danger to people trying to slip across the Mexican border. At least seven people have been found dead in the last week in Arizona after falling victim to the brutal desert heat.

Temperatures are also expected to soar across Utah and into Wyoming and Idaho, with triple-digit heat forecast for the Boise area. Cities in Washington state that are better known for cool, rainy weather should break the 90s next week.

The heat was so punishing that rangers took up positions at trailheads at Lake Mead in Nevada to persuade people not to hike. Zookeepers in Phoenix hosed down the elephants and fed tigers frozen fish snacks. Dogs were at risk of burning their paws on scorched pavement, and airlines kept close watch on the heat for fear that it could cause flights to be delayed.

More in Local News

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Officials to test sanity of suspect in Everett crime spree

He allegedly tried to rob and clobber a transit worker, then fled and struggled with police.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
Everett’s brush with Katharine Graham, leader of ‘The Post’

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson recalls The Washington Post publisher’s visits.

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Families seek to change wrongful death law

A bill would allow or parents or siblings who wish to pursue a suit for an unmarried, childless adult.

Most Read