Excessive heat watch issued for parts of Washington County
Jul 12, 2023, 7:38 AM | Updated: 9:13 am
(Ravell Call/Deseret News)
ST. GEORGE, Utah — An excessive heat watch has been issued for St. George and surrounding parts of Washington County as temperatures will soar into the triple digits this weekend.
The watch begins Saturday afternoon and lasts through Monday evening. Dangerously hot conditions with temperatures up to 115 degrees are possible, and forecasted highs for Saturday and Monday could break records.
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“Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities,” the National Weather Service said. “Monitor the latest forecasts and warnings for updates on this situation. Be prepared to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors.”
Meteorologists also reminded Utahns to never leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle, as temperatures inside a car can reach lethal levels in just minutes.
KSL meteorologist Matt Johnson said high pressure is migrating from New Mexico to California. During this time, northern Utah will see a very slight cooling trend. Then this high takes a turn back to the Intermountain West, really boosting temperatures into the triple digits across the state.
Air sinks under high pressure, which acts like a cap and traps heat near the surface, according to the National Weather Service. As the high remains in place, heat waves grow more intense and last longer. Buildings, roads and other infrastructure absorb then re-emit that heat, creating an urban heat island.
This high-pressure system has brought extreme heat to much of the southwestern U.S., with overnight temperatures in Phoenix only dropping to the mid-90s. Death Valley is expected to hit 117 degrees Wednesday, and forecasts call for temperatures as high as 127 early next week. Inland areas of Southern California will also see temperatures above 110 degrees.
To add insult to injury, the region has been left high and dry with no monsoon activity, which can help offset the blazing temperatures.