'Extremely dangerous heat wave' to scorch parts of US

A man shields himself from the sun in Las Vegas during a heat wave.
(Image credit: Ronda Churchill / AFP via Getty Images)

Temperatures across the United States are expected to soar this weekend, as much of the country deals with a potentially record-breaking heat wave.

A large portion of this heat will be seen in the western and southern U.S., where a "sweltering and extremely dangerous heat wave" will cause temperatures to "reach levels that would pose a health risk," according to the National Weather Service (NWS). These temperatures can be "potentially deadly to anyone without effective cooling and/or adequate hydration," the NWS added.

More than 34 million people were under an excessive heat warning on Friday, while another 61 million were under heat advisories and 730,000 under heat watches, NWS said. In all, nearly a third of all Americans are expected to face these blistering temperatures, NBC News reported.

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Portions of California, Nevada, and Arizona are likely to be among the hottest places in the world this weekend, with the NWS reporting that parts of the desert in all three states are expected to top 120 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday. Excessive heat warnings are also in place from Texas to Alabama. The city of Phoenix has seen a string of deadly heat, and the temperature in Arizona's largest metropolis is forecasted to pass 110 degrees for the next seven days.

Las Vegas is set to see similar temperatures, and is forecasted to reach 118 degrees on Sunday. If this holds true, it would be the hottest day in the city's recorded history, as Las Vegas has only ever gotten as hot as 117 degrees. The hottest place overall, though, could be Death Valley, California, where USA Today reported that the mercury could reach 130 degrees — just four degrees under the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth. The NWS said Death Valley will "struggle to fall below 100 degrees" even overnight.

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Justin Klawans

Justin Klawans is a staff writer at The Week. Based in Chicago, he was previously a breaking news reporter for Newsweek, writing breaking news and features for verticals including politics, U.S. and global affairs, business, crime, sports, and more. His reporting has been cited on many online platforms, in addition to CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

He is also passionate about entertainment and sports news, and has covered film, television, and casting news as a freelancer for outlets like Collider and United Press International, as well as Chicago sports news for Fansided.