AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

With temperatures as high as 120 degrees, it’s a good time to stay indoors.

The coming days will not be a time for Southwesterners to hike, bike, or do much of anything except camp in front of the A/C with the blinds closed. Brutally hot temperatures are expected to wash over the region, creating intolerable conditions of up to 120 degrees in Arizona and shattering records going back more than two decades.

The culprit for the heat wave is a strong blob of high pressure that’s expected to squat over the Southwest, squeezing the mercury ever-higher starting Friday. The 115-120 degrees predicted during the peak of the roasting would “set new records Sunday and Monday at many locations,” according to the National Weather Service in Phoenix, which provides this forecast of the “rare, dangerous, and deadly” heat:

NWS Phoenix

The service adds high temps could potentially rival the heat wave of June 1990, which saw airplanes being grounded for fear they wouldn’t have enough air lift and engine power to take off. The Christian Science Monitor relates:

In June 1990, when Phoenix hit 122 degrees, airlines were forced to cease flights for several hours because of a lack of data from the manufacturers on how the aircraft would operate in such extreme heat.

US Airways spokesman Todd Lehmacher said the airline now knows that its Boeings can fly at up to 126 degrees, and its Airbus fleet can operate at up to 127.

Authorities recommend people keep their outdoor activities limited to before 10 a.m., chug plenty of fluids, and stay in cool environments like libraries or the mall. And as always, don’t walk barefoot on pavement—even 110-degree temperatures can cause second-degree burns on bare flesh and prompt skin grafts.

Top image: lassedesignen/Shutterstock.com

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of the Eiffel Tower with the words "Made for Sharing" projected on it
    Life

    How France Tries to Keep English Out of Public Life

    France has a long history of using official institutions to protect the French language from outside influence. Still, English keeps working its way in.

  2. Warren Logan
    Transportation

    A City Planner Makes a Case for Rethinking Public Consultation

    Warren Logan, a Bay Area transportation planner, has new ideas about how to truly engage diverse communities in city planning. Hint: It starts with listening.

  3. Berlin's Friedrichstrasse will test a car ban starting in October 2019.
    Transportation

    Why Berlin’s Approach to Car Bans Is a Little Different

    The German capital will experiment with banning cars on two popular retail streets—but it’s being notably more cautious than its European counterparts.

  4. Transportation

    CityLab University: Induced Demand

    When traffic-clogged highways are expanded, new drivers quickly materialize to fill them. What gives? Here’s how “induced demand” works.

  5. An illustration of a turtle with a city on its shell
    Transportation

    Why Speed Kills Cities

    U.S. cities are dropping urban speed limits in an effort to boost safety and lower crash rates. But the benefits of less-rapid urban mobility don’t end there.  

×