A ‘dangerous’ heat wave is moving across the Southwest of the United States

A “dangerous” heat wave set in on Tuesday August 30 in the southwestern United States, with very high temperatures expected for the rest of the week. Meteorologists say the mercury could reach 44 degrees in suburban Los Angeles as a heat dome takes hold in parts of California, Nevada and Arizona. “Dangerously hot conditions are expected all week”the US weather services said.

“A prolonged period of excessive heat will significantly increase the risk of heat-related illnesses, especially for people working or participating in outdoor activities”, they added. Nighttime temperatures are not expected to be much lower so will not offer much respite. The heat was already sweltering Tuesday in and around Los Angeles and it’s just the beginning, according to David Sweet, a meteorologist in Oxnard, Calif. “We have a heat wave that will start on Wednesday and continue until at least Monday of next week”he told AFP. “During this period, we will have conditions warm enough for there to be an excessive heat alert”, he added. It’s not unusual for Southern California to experience heat waves in September, but temperatures above 37 or 38 degrees are considered very hot even for an almost always sunny region.

This news comes as large swaths of the southwest of the country have recently been hit by thunderstorms of rare intensity and torrential rains. Scientists have been warning for years about the impact of global warming caused in particular by the use of fossil fuels and the emission of greenhouse gases, which is now apparent to millions of people. Storms that were once extremely rare weather phenomena are now becoming more intense and more frequent, with potentially devastating effects, experts warn.

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