Jul 13, 2023 - Climate

"Dangerous" temps coming to Utah as southwest heat wave intensifies

Illustration of the hot emoji as a sun.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

A heat wave is coming this weekend, as Utah feels the effects of the scorching heat dome that's slow-cooking the southwest.

Driving the news: The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat watch for Sunday afternoon through Monday evening from the Wasatch Front to Nevada, with highs around 104°F and unusually warm nights, too.

  • Travelers be warned: St. George and the Lake Powell area are both under an excessive heat warning from Saturday morning to Monday night, with temps up to 115°F.

What's happening: A high-pressure system is hovering over the southwest, bringing record-crushing temperatures that are expected to last well into next week, Axios' Andrew Freedman reports.

The big picture: Climate change has led to longer, hotter and more frequent heat waves around the world, including in the Southwest.

  • Four consecutive days last week broke or tied records as Earth's hottest day since at least 1940 and likely far longer, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data.
  • Last month was the globe's warmest June, also since at least 1940, and the month shattered records for the warmest global sea surface temperatures.

Be smart: Extreme heat is the top weather-related killer during an average year in the U.S., per the NWS.

  • Heat waves are even deadlier when temperatures don't drop significantly at night.
  • Stay hydrated, wear light clothing, seek frequent refuge in air conditioning or shade, and try to stay indoors from 10am to 4pm, NWS warned Wednesday.

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