A potentially record-breaking heat wave is set to hit California,
A potentially record-breaking heat wave is set to hit California, Arizona, and southern Nevada. Freepik

A potentially record-breaking heat wave is set to hit the western U.S. this week, affecting millions of people across California, Arizona and southern Nevada, including Las Vegas.

Ridges of high pressure from the Pacific and Mexico will contribute to rising temperatures next week, according to computer models cited by Fox News.

The outlet warns about "potentially life-threatening heat-related illnesses due to a change in the weather pattern that will result in triple-digit temperatures during the region's first summer heat wave."

The California Valley region is expected to experience an excessive heat wave beginning Tuesday, with temperatures reaching 108 degrees from Redding to Sacramento to Fresno to Bakersfield.

From Las Vegas to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, the region is set to receive the heat on Wednesday. However, by Thursday or Friday, temperatures in Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Palm Springs, California, are expected to soar to 112 degrees, breaking historic records.

For example, if Las Vegas breaks 110 degrees on Thursday, it will be the city's warmest June ever, as per an ABC News article.

This weather is seen as a major heat hazard; excessive exposure can lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion and, if left untreated, heat stroke.

While forecasters expect the worst of the heat wave to hit the western U.S. on Wednesday and Thursday, record temperatures could extend into Friday or even the weekend.

A similar weather pattern has already caused extreme heat in Mexico, killing dozens of people and animals in that country over May.

In recent months, Mexico and the United States have been experiencing the El Niño phenomenon, which causes sea surface temperatures to be warmer than average, affecting the climate worldwide.

As ocean temperatures rise, this phenomenon heats up the atmosphere and alters wind circulation patterns that travel from one continent to another.

United Nations said there is likely to be a return
United Nations said there is likely to be a return to La Niña conditions later this year. UN's World Meteorological Organization WMO.

Despitte the sweltering heat, The UN's World Meteorological Organization said on Monday that El Niño "is showing signs of ending".

The organization indicated that there is likely to be a swing back to La Niña conditions later this year, which should help lower temperatures somewhat after months of global heat records.

La Niña refers to the large-scale cooling of the ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, coupled with changes in the tropical atmospheric circulation, namely winds, pressure and rainfall.

Latest forecasts from WMO Global Producing Centres of Long-Range Forecasts give equal chances (50%) of either neutral conditions or a transition to La Niña during June-August 2024. The chance of La Niña conditions increases to 60% during July-September and 70% during August-November. "The chance of El Niño redeveloping is negligible during this time," the report says.

However, the organization warned that global temperatures will continue to rise in the long term due to human-induced climate change, which is exacerbating extreme weather events and disrupting seasonal rainfall and temperature patterns.

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