As a severe heatwave engulfs parts of the Western United States, putting strain on energy systems, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday called on residents to voluntarily save electricity in order to prevent rotational power outages.
Newsom issued an emergency proclamation on Thursday, citing severe heat danger as the reason for the action. The proclamation allows power plants to expand operations if necessary to satisfy the demand for energy.
A Flex Alert was also issued by the California Independent System Operator, which oversees the state’s energy system and encourages residents and businesses to decrease their energy use in the nights from now until Friday. Set temperatures to 78 degrees, avoid using big appliances, shut curtains, and blinds and turn off unneeded lights, all of which were recommended in the warning.
The interior of California, particularly the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, as well as the deserts, were scorched by triple-digit high temperatures on Thursday afternoon. Temperatures hit 128 degrees in Death Valley, while Palm Springs matched the all-time high of 123 degrees in Palm Springs.
Heatwaves are expected to persist throughout the weekend across most of the western and southwestern United States, with temperatures reaching above 110 degrees.
Newsom’s office issued a statement saying that over the next few days, most of the West and Southwest is anticipated to experience triple-digit heat. It also said that it is important that people take measures to remain safe from the heat and do all they can to save electricity.
Temperatures in the Western Hemisphere set new records.
Cities across the Western United States are experiencing streak temperatures, including Phoenix, which is projected to reach 116 degrees on Friday, as per the National Weather Service.
From Sunday through Monday, Phoenix will be under an extreme heat warning, with lower desert highs of 113 to 120 degrees until temperatures begin to drop off on Monday.
The National Weather Service reported a record-breaking high of 118 degrees in Phoenix on Thursday, which was 13 degrees above average. According to the National Weather Service, this figure surpassed the previous day record high of 115 degrees, which was established in 1981.
Assuming the hottest low temperature of 92 degrees is maintained until midnight, Phoenix established a new daily record for the warmest low temperature on Friday, surpassing the previous mark of 88 degrees set in 2008.
Meanwhile, record high temperatures have been reached in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Palm Springs, California, this week, and record high temperatures are anticipated in Northern California and the Central Valley this weekend.
According to the National Weather Service in Las Vegas, southern Nevada will continue to see near-record or record temperatures through Saturday. On Wednesday, Las Vegas broke an 80-year heat record by reaching 116 degrees, breaking the previous mark of 105 degrees set in 1937.
Palm Springs reached 120 degrees on Wednesday and 117 degrees on Tuesday, surpassing the 1961 record for the hottest day in the city on June 15.
Denver burned beyond daily high temperatures of 97 degrees recorded in 1952 and 1993 with temperatures reaching 101 degrees on Tuesday.
Moreover, the city of Des Moines set a new high temperature record on June 17 at 101 degrees, although colder weather is on the way.
Heat waves may become the new normal in the near future
According to the National Weather Service, over 40 million inhabitants in the Western United States were subjected to heat advisories or extreme heat warnings this week. In addition, AccuWeather verified that at least 11 states have reported triple-digit temps and that at least 4 states have given evacuation orders for citizens.
However, the continuous heatwave seems to be staying around for the foreseeable future, prompting fears that severe heat could become the new normal. Scientists who research drought and global warming predict that those who live in the USA West may expect to experience more of this in the future years, according to their findings.