More than 45 million people across the western United States are currently receiving excessive heat warnings and advisories. According to the National Weather Service, many will be spending their holiday weekends in triple-digit temperatures, including California, Oregon and Idaho.
Several cities are already experiencing record heat waves. Boise, Idaho, on Friday broke his previous one-day record set in 1950 under a record temperature of 101 degrees. Salt Lake City recorded 103 degrees on Saturday, breaking the previous record of 98 degrees set in 2017. In Southern California, Burbank set a new monthly temperature his August record at 112 degrees on Wednesday.
A dangerous heatwave is expected to continue affecting many parts of the West through the weekend and into the middle of the week. Temperatures are expected to be 15 to 20 degrees higher than normal, with maximum temperatures exceeding 100 degrees.
Highs can reach 110 degrees on Sunday, with overnight lows in the 80s.
Some parts of California are experiencing extreme heat this time of year, with temperatures 10 to 25 degrees warmer than normal, but the heat is already increasing power demand and straining the grid.
Despite the heat, Californians are being asked to set their thermostats above 78 degrees on Sunday from 4pm to 9pm, avoid using major appliances, and turn off all unnecessary lights. Operators asked residents to pre-cool their homes by 4 p.m.
California’s independent system operator said in a news release, “There will be little relief from the triple-digit temperatures seen in the next few days, with heat only strengthening through Tuesday, which could call additional flex alerts. high,” he said.
For the past three days, utilities have received their heaviest electricity demand since September 2017, Elliot Meinser, president and chief executive officer of California Independent Grid Operators, said at a news briefing on Saturday. .
“The next few days are likely to be a dress rehearsal for a much more stressful set of conditions,” Meinser said.
He stressed that residents’ adherence to the warnings is important to ensure there are no blackouts. “That reaction can be the difference between whether the lights stay on or not,” Meinzer said.
NV Energy, a utility that serves more than 1.5 million homes and businesses throughout Nevada, also asked to reduce power usage between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. I ask residents.
Wildfires spread as California burns
The combination of blistering temperatures and low relative humidity across the region also means an increased risk of wildfires. According to NOAA, parts of northern California, southeastern Oregon, northwestern Nevada, and southwestern Idaho are experiencing fire-hazardous weather.
“There’s no doubt that the number and size of wildfires burning across California has been steadily increasing over the past few days,” California Fire Department Chief Deputy Commissioner Chris Anthony said at a press conference Saturday. rice field.
The Siskiyou County factory fire burned an estimated 4,254 acres and destroyed 50 buildings as of Saturday night.
In the same county, wildfires have spread to 4,812 acres.
Further south, the Los Angeles County Root Fire broke out on 5,208 acres on Saturday night and showed an 87% containment rate, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department update. The flames destroyed two of her structures and threatened hundreds more.
Warmer weather expected Thursday
The heat dome that produces the heatwave slowly spreads eastward over the central and northern plains by midweek. More than 150 high temperature records could be set or recorded by Thursday, according to CNN meteorologist Derek Van Damme.
The sweltering heat is expected to continue through the middle of the week, with little relief during the night, with cooler temperatures expected on Thursday.
“By Thursday, we’ll see some easing as temperatures drop further south through Thursday and Friday,” said Sarah Rogowski of the National Weather Service at a briefing on Saturday.
“However, temperatures remain above normal and are expected to continue through the middle of the month,” she added.
Extreme weather events, including heat waves like the current one, are becoming more frequent and will continue to become more frequent and intense due to the effects of human-induced climate change, scientists warn.
CNN’s Paradise Afshar, Derek Van Dam, and Aya Elamroussi contributed to this report.