Searing, record-breaking and potentially dangerous heat is forecast for much of California and the Southwest over the next couple of days, as temperatures soar well above 100 degrees in many spots.
In Los Angeles, a temperature record that's stood since 1886 — when Grover Cleveland was president — could be broken Saturday. The city should expect a high of 96 degrees, which would break the old record by 1 degree, the National Weather Service said.
Excessive heat advisories and warnings have been posted for much of western Arizona, southern Nevada and southern California. By 9 a.m. Friday, the temperature hit a sizzling 100 degrees in Phoenix.
Highs from 110 to 120 degrees are expected throughout the Desert Southwest on Saturday.
Temperatures that hot can lead to a high risk of heat-related illnesses for the homeless, the elderly and infants, along with outdoor workers, the weather service warned.
Notorious California hot spot Death Valley should hit 126 degrees Saturday, then "cool off" to 121 degrees by Sunday.
The heat comes courtesy of a large ridge of high pressure centered over the Four Corners region, the weather service said. Air sinks under high pressure, which prevents clouds from forming.
Intense heat, low humidity and gusty winds are also bringing a high danger of wildfires.
Slightly cooler weather is forecast for Sunday before a real cooling trend begins Monday, the weather service said. Along with the cooler weather will come the chance for thunderstorms as well as an uptick in humidity.
Sizzling start to 2017
If you think it's been an unusually warm year, you're right: So far in 2017, the U.S. is enduring its second-hottest year on record, according to a report released Friday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The year-to-date average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 50.9 degrees, which is 3.4 degrees above average. Only 2012 was warmer.
Four southeastern states — the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida — are sweltering through their warmest years since records began in 1895, NOAA said.
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