Forecasters called for more supercharged temperatures today as a heat wave gripped the Southwest, leaving one man dead and another hospitalized in serious condition in heat-aggravated incidents in sunbaked Phoenix. US Airways canceled 18 flights yesterday over the heat; planes are certified to takeoff in up to 118 degrees, but the mercury hit 119 in Phoenix, reports CNN. Temperatures in Las Vegas shot up to 115 degrees, two degrees short of a record, while Death Valley hit 125. Death Valley's record high of 134 degrees, set nearly a century ago on July 10, 1913, stands as the planet's highest recorded temperature.
Large swaths of California sweltered under extreme heat warnings, which are expected to last into Tuesday night—and maybe longer. The oppressive heat has sent more than 40 other people to hospitals in Las Vegas since it arrived Friday, but no life-threatening injuries were reported. "We will probably start to see a rise in calls Sunday and Monday as the event prolongs," says a Las Vegas fire and rescue spokesman. The heat was so punishing that rangers took up positions at trailheads at Lake Mead in Nevada to persuade people not to hike. Zookeepers in Phoenix hosed down elephants and fed tigers frozen fish snacks, and dogs were at risk of burning their paws on scorched pavement. Some 200 people were treated yesterday at a concert in Vegas.