Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun
Published Thursday, July 16, 2009 | 5:58 a.m.
Updated Thursday, July 16, 2009 | 4:39 p.m.
- Tourists on Strip sweat it out as mercury rises (7-16-2009)
Editor's Note: Read Friday's weather story.
Potentially dangerous temperatures are definitely on the way as the hottest week of the summer continues.
The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning today that will be in effect from Friday afternoon through Saturday evening as temperatures peak out at 112 degrees or above in Las Vegas. Meteorologist Katie LaBelle said 112 is used as a benchmark for triggering the excessive heat warning.
High temperatures are expected to reach 112 degrees Friday and 113 Saturday in the Las Vegas Valley.
The warning, which is in effect for elevations below 4,000 feet, also says highs on Friday and Saturday will be 116 to 118 along the Colorado River and in Mesquite and Overton, 106 in Kingman, 109 to 111 in Barstow and Twentynine Palms and 123 in Death Valley.
Although temperatures are expected to decrease slightly by Sunday, they will still be well above normal into next week, the weather service said. Highs will be 110 Sunday and 109 on Monday.
Today's afternoon temperatures are supposed to reach a high of 111. Shortly before 4 p.m., McCarran International Airport, where the official temperature is recorded, was reporting 110 degrees.
The weather service was reporting higher readings at some of its automated environmental monitoring stations around the valley. Readings of 112 degrees were reported just after 4 p.m. in downtown Las Vegas and UNLV and 113 in North Las Vegas. An EMS in Henderson reported 118 degrees at 3:27 p.m.
Besides the heat, there's also a slight chance of thunderstorms today mainly along and south of Interstate 15, the National Weather Service said.
Excessive heat kills more people than any other extreme weather except hurricanes, the weather service said.
Mike Kennedy of the Las Vegas weather service office issued a report based on heat deaths in 2008. Nevada ranked second to Pennsylvania in the number of deaths caused by hot temperatures. Pennsylvania recorded 27 heat-related deaths and Nevada reported 19 such deaths, Kennedy said.
Kennedy's report showed nine of the Nevada heat-related deaths occurred outdoors. Another eight died inside their houses, usually without air conditioning. One died in a mobile home and another in a vehicle.
The total of heat-related deaths in the United States in 2008 fell to 71, down from 105 fatalities in 2007.
The weather service put out some safety tips today, with the biggest one being to be aware not to leave your children or pets alone in a car.
That's because the heat inside of a car can reach higher than 150 degrees, which could trigger heat stroke in a matter of minutes.
Other safety tips from the weather service:
-- Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
-- Stay in an air-conditioned area during the heat of the day if possible.
-- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
-- Eat lightly. Especially avoid heavy meals with lots of protein.
-- Check on ill people and elderly people, as they are at greater risk.
While the 111 degrees expected today would be the hottest day of the summer, it isn't a record for this date. The record was set in 1998 for this date at 116 degrees. Today's normal high temperature is 105.