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Fear Spreads as Nevada and Arizona Sizzle at Record-Breaking 118 Degrees, Keeping Americans Indoors

Source: Greensboro News & Record

A Las Vegas homeowner has revealed that she is practically housebound during a dangerous heat wave with the country on high alert. The extraordinary weather has hit much of the Southwest, causing high heat warnings for millions and evacuations in Arizona.

Chika Okoye, a 22-year-old Las Vegas resident, spoke exclusively to Daily Express US about surviving temperatures reaching 117°F (47°C) this month. She remarked how she doesn’t stay outdoors anymore. She doesn’t even feel the weather suits her to swim in her swimming pool. She also pointed out that many Las Vegas visitors underestimate the heat. Some even roam around without carrying water, presuming it will not be an issue.

Tragically, just last weekend, two women were discovered deceased at the Valley of Fire State Park, located outside Las Vegas. As of Monday, the cause of their deaths remains undisclosed, but the temperature soared to a staggering 118°F (47°C) that day.  According to Arizona State climatologist Erinanne Saffell, high temperatures and human health go hand in hand. In 2022, Maricopa County, Arizona, recorded a startling 425 fatalities linked to heat-related diseases. Saffell stressed that everyone is in danger from protracted periods of high daytime and overnight temperatures. The very young and the elderly are more vulnerable to the negative consequences of intense heat.

According to Saffell, everyone is prone to the impacts of high temperatures when heat accumulates in the body, and you cannot cool down throughout the night. Okoye said that Las Vegas had been subject to daily extreme heat warnings for the whole month, leading to multiple heat strokes and hospitalizations. She also raised worry about the family’s rising energy costs, with their bill rising by at least $200 only this month.

Okoye emphasized the need to find practical solutions to remain cool, calling the heat “insane” and exceeding the severity seen in the previous two summers. The metropolitan area of Phoenix experienced an unprecedented third consecutive week of extreme heat, surpassing the previous record for the city’s longest heatwave. Saffell explained that the previous record was set in 1974, lasting 18 days with temperatures reaching 110°F or higher. However, this year, that record was shattered.

Saffell further highlighted the significant change in Phoenix’s temperature patterns. In the past, the city used to have an average of about five days per year with temperatures exceeding 110°F or higher. That number has dramatically increased to an average of 27 days per year, marking a fivefold rise in scorching days. Saffell said the Phoenix Metropolitan and Maricopa County had already surpassed their yearly temperature norms. They will thus probably have more days that are very hot in August and maybe September.

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According to the Arizona State Climate Office head, Phoenix has hotter summers than Tucson or Flagstaff. In addition, the Southwest’s extreme heat and dryness have ravaged the area’s vegetation, making it a highly flammable fuel source for wildfires. This predicament was made clear on Sunday when evacuation orders were issued for several areas of Arizona as firefighters fought numerous wildfires around the state.

In addition, places like Arizona have developed expertise in overcoming the difficulties of high temperatures. Many localities have set up cooling and hydration facilities to lessen the effects of the heatwave. Saffell underlined that people should do their best to remain cool, stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, and protect themselves from the heat using caps and light-weight long-sleeve apparel. Nonetheless, as the nation grapples with the unprecedented heat, staying informed, prepared, and vigilant remains key to surviving this climatic crisis.

Kate Row
Written By Kate Row

Kate is a writer from San Diego. She studied English and Psychology at Northern Arizona University. Since graduating, she has discovered her passion for writing engaging and topical content. In her free time, she enjoys spending time at the beach, going to concerts, reading, and traveling as much as possible.

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