The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

June 30, 2013

Heat wave sweeps Western U.S.

(Continued)

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. —

To make matters worse in California, National Weather Service meteorologists John Dumas said cooling ocean breezes haven’t been traveling far enough inland overnight to fan Southern California’s overheated valleys and deserts.

Burbank set a record overnight low with temperatures dipping to 74 degrees overnight, much warmer than the previous record of 68 degrees for Saturday’s early hours.

In Northern California, temperatures Saturday were expected to reach the 80s in San Francisco, upper 90s in San Jose and into the triple digits inland, about 20 degrees above typical highs in the Bay area.

Farther north, triple-digit temps were expected in Sacramento on Saturday and Sunday.

Health officials warned people to be extremely careful when venturing outdoors. The risks include not only dehydration and heat stroke but burns from the concrete and asphalt. Dogs can suffer burns and blisters on their paws by walking on hot pavement.

Cooling stations were set up to shelter the homeless and elderly people who can’t afford to run their air conditioners. In Phoenix, Joe Arpaio, the famously hard-nosed sheriff who runs a tent jail, planned to distribute ice cream and cold towels to inmates this weekend.

Officials said personnel were added to the Border Patrol’s search-and-rescue unit because of the danger to people trying to slip across the Mexican border. At least seven people have been found dead in the last week in Arizona after falling victim to the brutal desert heat.

Temperatures are also expected to soar across Utah and into Wyoming and Idaho, with triple-digit heat forecast for the Boise area. Cities in Washington state that are better known for cool, rainy weather should break the 90s next week.

The heat was so punishing that rangers took up positions at trailheads at Lake Mead in Nevada to persuade people not to hike. Zookeepers in Phoenix hosed down the elephants and fed tigers frozen fish snacks. Dogs were at risk of burning their paws on scorched pavement, and airlines kept close watch on the heat for fear that it could cause flights to be delayed.

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Skoloff reported from Phoenix. Also contributing were Robert Jablon and Shaya Tayefe Mohajer in Los Angeles, Julie Jacobson and Michelle Rindels in Las Vegas, Michelle Price in Salt Lake City, Cristina Silva and Bob Christie in Phoenix, and Susan Montoya Bryan in Albuquerque, N.M.

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