Extreme Heat to Sear Southwest, Plains: Phoenix Could Approach 120 Degrees
By Chris Dolce
Dangerous and potentially deadly heat will spread toward the Southwest this weekend while continuing to impact parts of the Plains and South.
Some cities have already received record-breaking temperatures this week:
- Columbia, Missouri, broke its old record high of 96 degrees (set in 1952) by reaching 99 degrees on Wednesday.
- Des Moines, Iowa, tied its old record high of 96 degrees (set in 1913) on Wednesday.
The most extreme heat in the coming days will be in the Desert Southwest where highs could climb to near 120 degrees, including in Phoenix, where it hasn't been that hot in more than 20 years. The National Weather Service in Phoenix said that heat of this magnitude in their area is rare, dangerous and deadly. Additionally, some cities in the Southwest may get within a few degrees of their all-time record highs for any calendar day in history.
Heat advisories, excessive heat warnings and excessive heat watches have been issued by the National Weather Service for parts of the Mississippi Valley, Plains and the Southwest.
An expansive area of high pressure in the mid-levels of the atmosphere that is taking shape from the central states into Southwest is responsible for the torrid temperatures. When this pattern occurs, the air sinks and warms and the result is very few clouds and extremely high temperatures.
Below are the details on the heat.
Desert Southwest: Hottest in 20+ Years For Some?
High temperatures in the 110s and possibly approaching or exceeding the 120s, will be common in the Desert Southwest starting this weekend and continuing into early next week. Not only that, there won't be much relief from the heat at night with lows staying in the 80s in some areas.
Here are a few notables about the heat, which could reach levels not seen in 20+ years in some locations.
- There is a chance Phoenix could get near 120 degrees on Sunday or next Monday. Phoenix has not hit 120 degrees since July 28, 1995, when it peaked at 121 degrees. The all-time record high in the city is 122 degrees on June 26, 1990.
- Even if the 120-degree mark is not reached, it's likely Phoenix will set some daily record highs. The current standing daily record high temperature in the city Sunday, Monday and Tuesday is 115 degrees each day.
- Low temperatures in Phoenix will only drop into the 80s Sunday, Monday and Tuesday morning.
- The temperature in Tucson has not been as high as 113 degrees in more than 20 years, last occurring in July 1995, according to the National Weather Service.
- It's possible the city could flirt with 115 degrees Sunday into Monday, which has only been reached or exceeded there four times dating back to 1894. The all-time record high in Tucson is 117 degrees.
- Highs in the 110s possible early next week, potentially challenging some daily record highs.
- Lows may only fall into the low to mid 80s early next week.
- Highs in the low 100s are possible this weekend into next week. Daily record highs will be within reach.
The early part of the summer months (June-August) is when the Southwest typically sees its hottest weather. This is before monsoonal moisture arrives, contributing to the development of showers and storms later in summer.
100s in Southern California
Parts of Southern California inland from the coast will also see very hot temperatures this weekend into early next week.
- Highs downtown are likely to be in the middle or upper 90s on Sunday into Monday.
- Triple-digit heat is likely slightly farther inland in Anaheim, Ontario, Riverside and Pasadena.
- Inland valleys away from the coast, highs may push into the 90s or low 100s.
Interior Southern California Deserts:
- High temperatures will push toward the 110s this weekend and may even reach or exceed 120 degrees, including in Palm Springs and Imperial.
Plains, Midwest Heat
The expansive ridge of high pressure will also continue to bring widespread middle 90s to low 100s throughout parts of the Plains and Midwest at times into this weekend. Hot temperatures will also extend into the Southeast through late-week.
Heat index or the "feels like" temperature, will be in the 105-115 degree range for parts of the Plains and South.
Excessive heat warnings are in effect for northern Oklahoma and the Kansas City metropolitan area through Friday.
In some cases, daily record high temperatures will be within reach. Here are a few cities that may come within a few degrees of their record high for the day indicated.
How to Prepare For Extreme Heat
This type of heat can be life-threatening for some, especially if you aren't adequately prepared. Remember: heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, are possible under these extreme conditions. If you are traveling with young children or pets, please do not leave them unattended in a hot vehicle.
The National Weather Service has issued some great heat safety tips.
- Drink before you are thirsty.
- Do not leave kids or pets in the car, even for a minute.
- Reduce time in the sun.
- Avoid strenuous activity; postpone outdoor activities.
- Seek air-conditioned buildings.
- Help the elderly, kids and pets stay cool.
- Keep window blinds closed.
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For centuries, the delicate silver dove has been a symbol of love and fidelity.
Biodiversity and Habitat Loss<p>Their near extinction is a symbol of the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/global-biodiversity-outlook-targets-extinction-summit-new-york-pledge/a-54932895" target="_blank">biodiversity crisis</a> in the UK, largely driven by habitat destruction. Britain is now one of the countries with the most <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/future-of-UK-nature#:~:text=The%20UK%20is%20one%20of,than%20half%20are%20in%20decline" target="_blank">depleted nature</a> in the world according to the World Wildlife Fund. Half its plant and animal species are in decline and more than <a href="https://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/let-nature-sing-wales/#:~:text=a%20natural%20tragedy.-,Over%2040%20million%20birds%20have%20vanished%20from%20UK%20skies%20in,unaware%20of%20the%20impending%20danger" target="_blank">40 million birds</a> have vanished in just half a century.</p><p>"[Turtle doves] are the canary in the [coal] mine because there are all these other species before it and after it," said Tree. "It's an umbrella for all the other species that are heading that way."</p><p>Turtle doves migrate south through Europe to sub-Saharan Africa between July and September, ending up in dry woodland and farmland areas of countries like Mali and Senegal for winter. </p><p>Droughts in West Africa and the Sahel region are believed to have contributed to the fall in turtle dove species recorded in northern Europe, with low rainfall reducing supplies of the seeds and insects the birds rely on for energy for the long journey home.</p>
Conservation and Farming<p><a href="https://www.operationturtledove.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Operation Turtle Dove,</a> a partnership project of charities including the Essex Wildlife trust, works with landowners and farmers to actively build turtle dove habitat.</p><p>Outten works with <a href="https://www.ebws.org.uk/birdsites/blue-house-farm-ewt-north-fambridge" target="_blank">Blue House Farm</a>, a 660-acre nature reserve in the UK county of Essex, where they have replicated weedy fallow plots. </p><p>"We work on it every year to make sure it's in the condition it needs to be with plants such as clovers and black medic," Outten said. "These plants are native to the landscape and produce the seed the birds feed on." </p><p>The birds eat a wide range of seeds from various plants that would have been abundant 50 or 100 years ago, added Guy Anderson, program manager for species recovery with The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). </p><p>"But it's simply true that with the gradual process of <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/farming-without-pesticides-how-can-we-make-agriculture-greener/a-52216796" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">intensifying our agricultural production</a>, the availability of those seeds has dropped and dropped," said Anderson.</p><p>Part of the project includes supplementary feeding — providing sources of food in the form of seed or grain. Under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme in England, farmers can receive financial support to create a turtle dove habitat. </p><p>Though they haven't recorded an increase in doves across the sites in the four years of working on the project, Outten said they are seeing improvements in how landowners and farmers manage habitat for the birds. </p>
A Turtle Dove Haven<p>The 3,500-acre Knepp Estate in West Sussex is another project taking a different approach and one of the few places where turtle dove numbers are increasing.</p><p>Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell converted their intensively farmed land into a rewilding project almost 20 years ago. They have let the land return to nature.</p><p>Just one year after they'd finished <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/uks-most-talented-architects-are-not-human/a-35952128" target="_blank">rewilding</a> the southern part of their property, they heard turtle doves for the first time. It's now a breeding hotspot for the birds with an estimated 19 pairs. Knepp is also home to <a href="https://www.rewildingbritain.org.uk/rewilding/rewilding-projects/knepp-estate" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2% of the UK's population</a> of nightingales. </p><p>Tree is critical of supplementary feeding schemes that, in her view, are short term. She questions the chances of turtle doves getting to feed on scattered seeds before other mammals eat them first.</p>
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