A heat dome of historic intensity brought record temperatures to the Desert Southwest on Monday while exacerbating fires.
While some say it’s always hot in the Southwest, this was not a typical extreme-heat event.
Two locations in the Southern California desert witnessed temperatures as high as they’ve been in recorded history. Needles, Calif., surged to 125 degrees, tying its all-time high temperature from 1925 and 2005, while Blythe Airport in California hit 124, beating the previous all-time high of 123.
In Phoenix, the low on Monday morning was just 90 degrees, the earliest in the calendar year on record in which the low had not dropped below that threshold.
In addition to the historic heat in the desert, record heat stretched almost to the Southern California coast. Los Angeles International Airport set a daily record high of 95 Monday, while Burbank spiked to 111 degrees.
— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) June 21, 2016
The heat coupled with strong winds and extremely dry conditions were blamed for fanning two fires that torched over 4,500 acres in the San Gabriel Mountains above Los Angeles.
— Barry Parker (@bfireman5) June 21, 2016
While the intensity of the heat is forecast to diminish some Tuesday, excessive heat warnings remain over many areas of the Southwest.
Dangerously hot conditions continue across the southwestern US. Heading outside? Think about how to protect yourself pic.twitter.com/14uBNDxkA4
— NWS (@NWS) June 21, 2016
In Southern California, the National Weather Service is warning that the “extreme fire danger” will persist through at least Tuesday due to heat, high winds and low humidity.