Labor Day may be the unofficial end of summer, but it won’t feel like it in the West, where hundreds of heat records are likely to be broken.
“Some of these records stand no chance. The heat out West this summer, its intensity and longevity, has been nothing short of amazing,” said CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.
Heat warnings include nearly all of California and stretch from Arizona to Oregon.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency ahead of the heat, with the goal of alleviating heat-induced demands on the power grid. An alert has been issued to California residents to conserve power between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m., when demand is highest.
The National Weather Service office in Los Angeles is warning of “rare, dangerous very possible deadly” heat across the region. Highs around Los Angeles could reach 110 degrees on Saturday and Sunday.
Long Beach, California, is forecasting a high of 108 on Saturday, which is very close to their all-time record high of 111 degrees. Burbank’s all-time record high is 114, and they are forecast to hit at least 111 both Saturday and Sunday. Even Northern California will be sweltering. Redding will be well into the triple digits, possibly reaching 111 on Saturday and 112 on Sunday.
Altogether, the West could set more than 100 record high minimum temperatures and more than 150 record high temperatures, which could prove dangerous for a lot of people.
“Many are surprised to learn that heat is the deadliest of weather events. In fact, heat kills nearly twice as many Americans each year than do tornadoes and nearly three times more than hurricanes,” Javaheri says.
“Studies suggest that more lives are lost due to heat in areas of lower income as they are less likely to have access to air conditioning or be able to leave it on during excessive heat events,” he added.
The extreme heat will also elevate fire danger in a region already struggling to combat wildfires.
Other regions face extreme heat
Heat will also be a problem in the Deep South, where temperatures have been in the 90s, with heat indexes in the triple digits.
Southwest Louisiana and East Texas, which were both hit hard by Hurricane Laura, still have thousands of residents without power. This only makes the heat even more dangerous.
Even places like Denver will feel the ultimate weather whiplash during the next few days, with temperatures nearing 100 degrees this weekend, then possible snow two days later.
“Denver will see record heat through Labor Day weekend, with highs potentially reaching 100 degrees. Temperatures take a nosedive on Tuesday as a strong system brings wintry weather to the area,” the National Weather Service office in Boulder said.
“Please keep arms and legs inside the roller coaster at all times,” the office joked.