The temperature in Las Vegas is expected to climb past 110 degrees — and possibly into record territory — early next week, as the first big blast of summer heat hits the Southwest.
Just don’t expect National Weather Service meteorologist Andy Gorelow to get too excited about it.
“We’ve seen heat waves like this in June,” said Gorelow, who is in charge of updating the service’s official climate summary for Las Vegas. “It’s really not that unusual.”
Not unusual, maybe, but certainly excessive.
The Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the area starting Sunday, when the high is expected to approach 109, and extending through 9 p.m. Wednesday. The forecast as of Thursday called for highs near 113 Monday, 115 Tuesday and 113 Wednesday.
“We could set daily records (those days),” Gorelow said.
Thursday’s high is expected to be 110 degrees, which is 3 degrees short of the record, according to the Weather Service.
The record high is 113 for June 20 and 115 for June 22. Sandwiched between is what Gorelow called an “outlier”: the June 21 record of 111, which dates back to 1954 and is overdue to be broken, he said.
Las Vegas also could see record high low temperatures several days early next week, and set a new mark for the earliest day of the year with an overnight low of 90 or above, besting by nearly a week the record set June 26 of 2015, Gorelow said.
Clark County has announced plans to set up additional cooling stations and day shelters during the excessive heat.
The rising temperatures will make things hotter than usual at the annual Electric Daisy Carnival, but it looks like the event will avoid the worst of the heat wave. The music festival starts Friday and runs through Sunday. It is expected to draw several hundred thousand people.
Visitors to Lake Mead National Recreation Area are advised to avoid hiking during days of excessive heat, spokeswoman Chelsea Kennedy said.
“All too often, people go on hikes when it’s too hot, and it becomes a safety situation for them and our rangers as well,” Kennedy said.
The coming heat wave is the result of what Gorelow called “a very large area of high pressure” that has parked itself above the Southwest, driving up temperatures from Death Valley to Tucson, Arizona. The same sort of thing happens once or twice a year, he said.
The forecast for Furnace Creek, Calif., home of the official weather station for Death Valley National Park, calls for highs near 122 on Monday and 125 on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Phoenix is bracing for a high of 119 Monday, three degrees shy of that city’s all-time high of 122.
Gorelow said Las Vegas’ all-time temperature record of 117 appears safe for now, but the heat has only just begun.
Monday marks the first official day of summer. The hottest time of the year tends to be the second or third week of July, he said.
The temperature at the valley’s official weather station, housed since 1948 at what is now McCarran International Airport, has only reached 117 three times, most recently on June 30, 2013.
Review-Journal writer Christian Bertolaccini contributed to this report. Contact Henry Brean at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0350. Find @RefriedBrean on Twitter.