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Heat wave in western U.S. to break records

Parts of Arizona and California brace for extreme heat

June 27, 2013

Parts of Arizona and California are expecting a potentially deadly heat wave this weekend.

Weather.com and the National Weather Service have predicted the mercury to soar well past 110 degrees Fahrenheit and perhaps top 120F starting on Friday in the deserts of southeast California and southern Arizona.

Excessive heat warning or watches have also been issued from San Luis Obispo to San Diego county. Several cities in California, Nevada and Arizona already known for their high heat could see all-time record highs in danger.

Authorities are also concerned about the risk to undocumented immigrants trekking through southern Arizona, where shade is scarce and temperatures are expected to reach between 115 and 121 over the weekend. “It’s a very dangerous situation to have anyone out in these remote areas.” Brent Cagen, a spokesman for the Tucson sector of the U.S. Border Patrol, told Reuters. “We definitely see a rise in rescues and deaths when it gets to be 115 or 120 degrees out in the desert,” he added.

Agents, including 250 specially trained as emergency medical responders, carried 374 rescues from October 1 through May 31. Ninety-nine deaths, most from exposure, were reported during the period, Cagen said.

Weather officials said the blast-furnace heat is courtesy of a “stuck” weather pattern setting up across the United States and Canada.

Meanwhile, parts of the Midwest and Northeast will experience rain, floods and high winds, through Thursday, meteorologists said.

Up to 100 million people in cities from Chicago to New York could be affected by flash floods, wind gusts of up to 70 mph, giant hail and the possibility of tornadoes, Accuweather.com reported.

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