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Man dies in Vegas as heatwave continues

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 08:55 p.m. HST, Jun 29, 2013

LAS VEGAS » A man died and another was hospitalized in serious condition Saturday afternoon in heat-aggravated incidents as a heat wave blistered this sunbaked city and elsewhere in the Southwest.

Forecasters said temperatures in Las Vegas shot up to 115 degrees on Saturday afternoon, two degrees short of the city's all-time record.

Phoenix hit 119 degrees by mid-afternoon, breaking the record for June 29 that was set in 1994. And large swaths of California sweltered under extreme heat warnings, which are expected to last into Tuesday night — and maybe even longer.

The forecast for Death Valley in California called for 128 degrees Saturday, but it was 3 degrees shy of that, according to unofficial reports from the National Weather Service. Death Valley's record high of 134 degrees, set a century ago, stands as the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth.

Las Vegas fire and rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski said paramedics responded to a home without air conditioning and found an elderly man dead. He said while the man had medical issues, paramedics thought the heat worsened his condition.

Paramedics said another elderly man suffered a heat stroke when the air conditioner in his car went out for several hours while he was on a long road trip. He stopped in Las Vegas, called 911 and was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

The heat wave has sent more than 40 other people to hospitals in Las Vegas since it arrived Friday, but no life-threatening injuries were reported.

"We will probably start to see a rise in calls Sunday and Monday as the event prolongs," Szymanski said in a statement. "People's bodies will be more agitated the longer the event lasts and people may require medical assistance."

The forecast for Death Valley called for 128 degrees, but temperatures topped at 125, according to unofficial reports from the National Weather Service. Death Valley's record high of 134 degrees, set a century ago, stands as the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth.

About 100 miles south in Baker, the temperature peaked at an unofficial 117 degrees in the road tripper's oasis in the Mojave Desert on Interstate 15. The strip of gas stations and restaurants between Los Angeles and Las Vegas is known by travelers for the giant thermometer that often notes temperatures in the triple digits.

Elsewhere in Southern California, Palm Springs peaked at 122 degrees while the mercury in Lancaster hit 111 — a record.

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

In Northern California, record-breaking temperatures were recorded in Sacramento, where the high was 107 degrees; Marysville, which sweltered in 109 degrees; and Stockton, which saw 106.

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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HD36 wrote:
Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Montana, and Washington are at the very uncomfortable level too.
on June 29,2013 | 12:18PM
hikine wrote:
Global warming. It's getting hotter every summer and shorter winter
on June 29,2013 | 12:24PM
bobbob wrote:
the death valley record was set a century ago, so how did you come to the conclusion of global warming? Have data to back up your assertations? remember the snowcopalypse 2 years ago? http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/02/03/the-great-blizzard-of-2011-as-seen-from-space/ 49 out of 50 states had snow.
on June 29,2013 | 12:34PM
hanalei395 wrote:
And that one state that didn't have snow ... Florida.
on June 29,2013 | 02:23PM
hikine wrote:
I wasn't pertaining to Death Valley per se but the overall weather conditions. Two years ago is much different compared to what's happening now. You have to be realistic that global warming is happening. The glaciers are receding at an alarming rate due to increased temperatures from CO2 emissions. You have to stop sticking your head in the sand and believe everything is okay!
on June 30,2013 | 01:50AM
bobbob wrote:
actually you have to be realistic that "global warming" is a sham. Many proponents have already changed their tune to "climate change". The sun and it's output, which we cannot control, is responsible for "global warming" and storm and weather patterns. I know people wan to think they can control everything, but this one is out of our reach unless you think we can make a giant sunshade. http://www.dailytech.com/NASA Study Acknowledges Solar Cycle Not Man Responsible for Past Warming/article15310.htm
on June 30,2013 | 08:15AM
inverse wrote:
More accurate term is man made global climate change. Temperatures fluctuate but the average level of fluctuation is rising AND the intensity of energetic weather events like tornados, hurricanes, storm surges, etc. Heat is just one form of energy, while hurricanes and other storm events contain incredible levels of kinetic energy, all which can be interconverted by the law of conservation of energy and the intricate connection between the earths atmosphere, ocean temperatures and currents, polar ice caps, etc.
on June 30,2013 | 02:09AM
lowtone123 wrote:
It has seemed that every summer for time now we hear record temperatures on the mainland but here we have seen moderate, even wet summers.
on June 29,2013 | 01:57PM
hikine wrote:
Rain hasn't been as frequent as before. Summer just started and it's already breaking records, I would imagine it will get worse as the summer months continues.
on June 30,2013 | 01:55AM
inverse wrote:
Thats because in Hawaii we are surrounded by cool deep ocean waters that tends to buffer extreme temperature fluctuations in air currents that almost everyone else in the continental US is experiencing. Exceptions are San Francisco, which like Hawaii has cool ocean water next to the city to help buffer the extremely warm jet stream air currents. This is also good for our visitor industry and will encourage mainland residents to vacation in Hawaii to get AWAY from their overheated hometowns in the US.
on June 30,2013 | 02:35AM
Skyler wrote:
Ice cream's not going to help... the cold towels will, plus lots & lots of water (and some salt).
on June 29,2013 | 10:30PM
kanaka wrote:
Too bad they cant relax in the cool comfort of the Kau Kau Lanai
on June 30,2013 | 11:08AM
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