Extreme Desert Southwest heat to challenge all-time records next week

Written by on June 16, 2017 in Summer 2017, United States of America with 0 Comments

The Desert Southwest gets hot every summer, it’s a desert after all. However, every 3-5 years, exceptional heat pays a visit. When typically strong upper ridges just get that little bit stronger and swell towards 600dm.

We saw that last June when all-time records were challenged and for some, broken.

Credit: Bach‏ @derBach42

The ridge builds over Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah this weekend with favoured hot spots rising into the 110s. Palm Springs, Phoenix and Las Vegas get there every summer but by early next week when modelling takes the heights towards 600dm and we’ve an enormous depth of sinking air and a lot of heat extending all the way to 18,000ft, surface temperatures exceed those typical ‘heat wave’ values and enter the ‘exceptional’ and ‘rare’.

Note below, the GFS 500mb height anomaly chart for early Tuesday morning and note the 597dm ridge core directly over Phoenix.

Credit: Tropical Tidbits

No surprise that we have excessive heat warnings in place for the entire region late weekend and particularly early next week.

Credit: weather.com

Phoenix is expected to push 120 degrees and may challenge their all-time record of 122 set in 1990. In the last 10 years, Phoenix has hit 116 most years, 118 a couple of times but the last time it hit 120 was the 1990s so even if it doesn’t match the all-time record, 120 would be the hottest in some 20 years.

Credit: weather.com

Palm Springs, CA has a good shot at 120 but last June saw a high of 122, hottest on record for June and 1 degree shy of the all-time record and a reading not reached in at least 15 years.

Since 2005, Las Vegas has tied their all-time record of 117 twice. They may come close early next week.

Since 2005, Death Valley, CA has reached 128 on a few occasions and hottest being 129 but failed to crack the magic 130 mark. In fact Death Valley has not reached 130 since 1913 but it’s gotten awfully close countless times. With the core of the high centred SE of the region, I doubt Death Valley gets much above 126. Hot yes but a reading not uncommon here every few years.

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Steve Frank @stevefrank1

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