USA could break new temperature records when a large area of the west and some 30 million residents experience a heat wave, the second in a few weeks.
The thermometer rose over the weekend over much of the Pacific coast and inland to the western edge of the Rocky Mountains, with even higher forecasts for this Sunday.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), Las Vegas, temperature equaled its all-time high at 47.2 degrees Celsius, a mark the city set in the middle of the Nevada desert reached for the first time in 1942 and three times since 2005.
Meteorologists have issued a warning bulletin for the metropolitan area, as well as for several other urban centers, including Phoenix (south) and San José, in the center of Silicon Valley, not far from San Francisco.
“More than 30 million people remain under extreme heat alerts or heat warnings,” the NWS said Saturday, adding that dangerous high temperatures and dry conditions are expected to continue Sunday.
This new heat wave comes less than three weeks after another that hit the western United States and Canada in late June, with record high temperatures for three days in a row in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
The number of deaths caused by this first wave is not yet precisely known, but it is estimated at several hundred.
Last month was the hottest June on record in North America, according to data released by the European Union’s climate monitoring service.
So far, human activity has caused a global temperature rise of about 1.1 degrees Celsius, which has resulted in more destructive storms, more intense heat waves, droughts and increased wildfires.
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the British Weather Service, there is a 40% chance that the annual global mean temperature will temporarily exceed 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures in the next five years.
The last six years through 2020 are the hottest six years on record.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.