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Extreme heat to impact states across the U.S.: live weather updates

May 24, 2023

A brutal heat wave across the southern and western states is expected to peak this weekend, causing dangerously hot weather from Florida to Texas to Arizona and California to Washington state, with the most extreme temperatures in the Desert Southwest. During the peak, Death Valley, Calif., may approach 130 degrees Fahrenheit — the highest temperature noted worldwide in modern records, and most of California’s highly populous Central Valley will be well above 110. Phoenix broke a heat record during its long run of extreme temperatures.

“A day like today is showcasing how the heat can escalate quickly here in the desert,” the National Weather Service in Phoenix tweeted just before 11:30 a.m. local time, noting the temperature in the city had already hit 110 degrees

The heat wave, which is fueling fires in Southern California, comes days after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed that last month was the hottest June on record globally, and recent days have been among Earth’s hottest in observed history.

“Dangerous heat will result in a major to extreme risk for heat-related illnesses for much of the population, especially those who are heat sensitive and those without effective cooling and/or adequate hydration,” the National Weather Service warned.

Our warming climate: In July, Phoenix set a national heat wave record for the hottest month ever in a U.S. city. Heat waves are ramping up the global burning of fossil fuels, as July will be Earth’s hottest month on record. Here’s why the sweltering heat wave isn’t moving anytime soon. Use our tracker to see your city’s extreme heat risk. Take a look at what extreme heat does to the human body.

How to stay safe: It’s better to prepare for extreme heat before you’re in it. Here’s our guide to bracing for a heat wave, tips for staying cool even if you don’t have air conditioning, and what to know about animal safety during extreme heat. Traveling during a heat wave isn’t ideal, but here’s what to do if you are.

Understanding the science: Sprawling zones of high pressure called heat domes fuel heat waves. Here’s how they work. You can also read more about the link between weather disasters and climate change, and how leaders in the U.S. and Europe are responding to heat.