Following an unprecedented drought, much of the Western United States has been hit with a heatwave that will break records throughout the week.
The latest drought monitor, released June 10, has classified most of the southwestern United States as experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. This, on top of the heatwave making its way across the west coast and southern border this week, is only making matters worse.
"Record-high temperatures will just continue the vicious cycle that so often happens in droughts, where hot, cloudless skies result in increased evaporation of what little water is left in lakes and rivers," Brandon Miller, a CNN meteorologist said. "This, in turn, worsens the drought."
Meteorologists call it a clear fingerprint of climate change as the western part of the U.S. continues to see less and less rain and hotter temperatures. Unfortunately, the higher temperatures are arriving in tandem with current wildfires spreading across the same area.
Excessive heat warnings have been in place in at least 12 different states where it is expected to enter triple digits on the thermometer. The warning includes states as far north as Montana. Forecasts can be viewed here.
Among the regions suffering most is the Desert Southwest. Known for temperatures that could practically cook an egg on the sidewalk, Arizona and Nevada could reach temperatures never seen before by the end of this week.
Sin City could beat its all-time high of 117, a number the city has reached on four occasions from 1942 to 2017. Phoenix is projected to be 10 degrees above its monthly average, and temperatures could be 111-119 degrees Fahrenheit in south-central Arizona this week. The all-time heat record in Arizona of 128 degrees Fahrenheit, set on June 29, 1994, at Lake Havasu City, may be broken.
"Excessive heat warnings/watches are in place for many areas of the Southwest and into the California Central Valley next week, with temperatures climbing well into the 110s in the lower deserts with low temperatures only in the 80s and 90s," said the Weather Prediction Center in its extended forecast discussion.