Heat warning extended through Tuesday - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

UPDATE

Heat warning extended through Tuesday

Kids cool off in Phoenix Kids cool off in Phoenix
PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -

An excessive heat warning has been extended for much of Arizona until Tuesday at 8 p.m.

It was another record-setting day in Phoenix Saturday as the heat wave continues to leave a red hot mark across the Southwest.

By mid-afternoon, meteorologists recorded 119 degrees at 3:46 p.m. That breaks the 117-degree record that was set for this day in 1994.

The last time it was any hotter in Phoenix was in July 1995.

There were isolated reports of even hotter temperatures in some locations. Viewer Ronald Bates emailed the CBS 5 News Action Button and reported "driving home this afternoon the temperature gauge in my car that measures the outside air registered 122 degrees at about 3:30 as I was passing 43rd Avenue and Cactus Road.

In Las Vegas, 30 people at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas were hospitalized on Friday afternoon for heat-related injuries when temperatures soared to 115 and tied the city's record for the date set in 1994.

Tigers at the Phoenix Zoo were getting frozen fish snacks. Temporary cooling stations were popping up. And airlines were monitoring the soaring temperatures as the West fell into the grips of the dangerous heat wave.

A strong high-pressure system settling over the region Friday and lasting through the weekend is triggering extreme temperatures, even to the typically blazing Southwest.

The potential for new wildfires, especially over the Four Corners area of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona, were concerning the National Interagency Fire Center, according to spokeswoman Jennifer Smith.

Smith said the high-pressure system is going to be settling over that area, producing lightning but little precipitation.

This torrid heat is unusual, even for Arizona. Many locations around the state will come within a few degrees of the hottest temperature readings ever recorded, and some of those records go back more than 100 years.

This heat is the result of a ridge of high pressure over Utah/Arizona that is intensifying, allowing temperatures to warm up way beyond normal for late June, typically the hottest time of year. 

Electrical providers Salt River Project and APS are closely monitoring usage in order to redirect energy in case of a potential overload.

SRP spokesman Scott Harelson said he doesn't expect usage to get anywhere near SRP's record 6,663 megawatts consumed in August 2011.

Extra personnel was added to the U.S. Border Patrol's Search, Trauma and Rescue unit as people illegally crossing the border from Mexico into Arizona could succumb to exhaustion and dehydration.

At least seven people were found dead in the last week in Arizona, victims of the desert's brutal heat.

At the Phoenix Zoo, animals will be doused with hoses, sprinklers and misters throughout the weekend.

It will be hard to escape the heat. Several mornings might not even break 90 degrees.

Phoenix tied another record high on Sunday at 115°.  There will be some slight relief this week, but not much.  Temperatures by the middle of the week will still be at 110 degrees.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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