The Las Vegas Valley sizzled through its seventh excessive heat warning Friday since June 1, making way for slightly cooler weekend temperatures thanks to a storm system passing through the valley.
Friday’s temperatures peaked at 112 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, just three degrees short of the 2007 record for the date of 115. The overnight low will be near 91.
The high climbed past 100 degrees about 10:20 a.m. at McCarran International Airport, the weather service’s official recording site.
Clark County officials on also issued an air quality advisory Friday for ground-level pollution. It warned that ozone is a “key ingredient of urban smog that can build up during the day in the hottest months of the year” because of hot temperatures, gasoline and chemical vapors, pollutants from vehicles and wildfires.
Higher levels of ozone and smoke can cause issues for young children, elderly people and those with heart and breathing problems, the advisory said.
July is historically the deadliest month for heat-related deaths, and Clark County officials urged people to take precautions, including staying hydrated and remaining indoors during the hottest times of day. The county also opened cooling stations around the Las Vegas Valley through Sunday to help residents beat the heat.
The Southern Nevada Health District reported Thursday that the number of heat-related deaths in the region soared nearly 58 percent in 2017 over the previous year, and used that report to remind residents that “heat is dangerous.”
The Clark County coroner’s office in 2018 has logged 18 confirmed heat-related deaths, but Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg told the Review-Journal that he assumes there are “many more” among the dead whose autopsies have not yet been completed.
At Nellis Air Force Base, which has its own weather team, officials use standardized “work-rest” ratios to keep crews required to work outdoors safe, according to staff Sgt. Joshua Kleinholz. That could mean that for every 40 minutes of work outside, you get 20 minutes of rest. The ratio increases as temperatures rise, he said.
The work-rest ratios are especially important for those working on the flight line, Kleinholz added.
“Sometimes on the flight line, it gets to be 120 degrees,” he said. “They have gear on and they are out on a sea of concrete, so it’s brutal.”
Cooler temps coming
A combination of heavy cloud cover and a 20 percent chance for thunderstorms overnight Friday will bring temperatures down to near 105 on Saturday and Sunday. Winds also will pick up to 10 to 15 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph, the weather service said.
That chance for rain will last through Monday with clouds lingering over the valley through next week, the weather service said. Rain is more likely to fall over the Spring Mountains before any thunderstorms reach Las Vegas.
Monday also should reach about 105 degrees, and Tuesday’s high should dip to 102.