A heat wave is scorching large swathes of the United States, causing deaths in the West and gripping the East

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Hundreds of Europeans tour the American West and adventurers from around the U.S. were drawn to Death Valley National Park on Monday, despite the chastisement of a desolate region known as one of the hottest places on Earth. A dangerous heatwave caused the death of a motorcyclist over the weekend.

French, Spanish, English and Swiss tourists left their air-conditioned rental cars and motorhomes and took away photographs of a barren landscape different from snow-capped mountains and rolling green hills. Although officials at the park in California warned visitors to be safe, American adventurers loved its novelty.

Drew Belt, who lives in Tupelo, Mississippi, said he wanted to stop at Death Valley, the lowest point in America, on his way up California’s Mount Whitney. , the highest peak in the lower 48 states. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Like walking on Mars.

Park superintendent Mike Reynolds warned visitors in a statement that “extreme heat like this can pose a real threat to your health.”

A scorching heat wave ravaged large parts of the US leading to daily records High temperature In Oregon, it is suspected of causing four deaths in the Portland area. more than 146 million people Heat warnings were in place across the US on Monday, particularly in western states.

Dozens of places in the West and Pacific Northwest tied or broke previous heat records over the weekend and are expected to do so later in the week.

The early US heat wave came as global temperatures were warmest in June For the 13th consecutive month It marked the 12th straight month the world was 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than pre-industrial times, the European climate service Copernicus said.

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In Multnomah County, Oregon, home to Portland, the medical examiner is investigating four suspected heat-related deaths recorded Friday, Saturday and Sunday, officials said. Three of the dead were from the district, ages 64, 75 and 84, district officials said in an email. Heat is also suspected in the death of a 33-year-old man who was taken to a Portland hospital from outside the county.

Portland broke daily record highs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and is on track to do so again on Monday with a forecast of 102 F (38.9 C), National Weather Service meteorologist Hannah Chandler-Cooley said. High temperatures are expected in Portland through Tuesday evening.


Thor Teigen poses in a fur jacket next to a thermometer showing a temperature of 131 degrees Fahrenheit / 55 degrees Celsius at the Furnace Creek Visitors Center in Death Valley National Park, California, on Sunday, July 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Dye One)

Temperatures are not expected to rise during similar periods A heat wave in the Pacific Northwest in 2021, which killed 600 people in Oregon, Washington and across western Canada. But the duration may be problematic as many houses in the area do not have air conditioning.

Heat illness and injury are cumulative And officials warn it could be built in a day or days. In San Jose, California, a homeless man died of heat-related causes last week, Mayor Matt Mahan reported on the social site X, calling it an “avoidable tragedy.”

In the sizzling desert of eastern California, Death Valley National Park recorded a high of 128 F (53.3 C) on Saturday and Sunday, where a visitor, who was not identified, He died on Saturday from heat exposure. Another person has been hospitalized, officials said.

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Lucita Corupus, 80, who is visiting from St. Louis, hides from the sun while visiting the Washington University campus with her family, Sunday, July 7, 2024, in Seattle. (AP via Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)

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People chill on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Sunday, July 7, 2024. (AP Photo/John Locher)

They were among six motorcyclists who drove through Badwater Basin in bad weather, the park said in a statement. Four others were treated at the scene. Emergency medical helicopters were unable to respond because aircraft typically cannot fly safely above 120 F (48.8 C), officials said.

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A midweek high of 130 F (54.4 C) and higher highs are in the near term forecast,

The largest national park outside of Alaska, Death Valley is considered one of the most extreme environments in the world. The hottest temperature officially recorded on Earth was 134 F (56.67 C) in July 1913 at Death Valley, although some experts dispute that measurement and say the actual record was 130 F (54.4 C), set in July 2021.

“It’s impressive,” Thomas Mirzlieg of Basel, Switzerland, said of the triple-digit heat. “It’s like a wave that hits you when you get out of the car, but it’s very dry heat. So it’s not in Europe.

Across the desert in Nevada, Las Vegas hit a record high of 120 F (48.8 C) on Sunday. forecast A record high of 115 F (46.1 C) was reached on Monday. The National Weather Service predicts a high of 117 F (47.2 C) in Phoenix.

Extreme heat and prolonged drought in the West have also dried up vegetation that fuels wildfires

In California, a wildfire in the mountains of Santa Barbara County grew to more than 34 square miles (88 square kilometers) by Monday night. More than 1,000 firefighters were in the path of the lake fire, and areas under evacuation orders included the former Neverland ranch owned by the late pop star Michael Jackson. The fire was only 8% contained.

Rare heat advisories extended to higher elevations, including usually temperate Lake Tahoe on the border of California and Nevada, with the weather service in Reno, Nevada, warning of “major heat hazard impacts even in the mountains.” For the third day in a row, South Lake Tahoe, California hit a high of 91 F (32.7 C), breaking the previous record of 89 F (31.6 C) set in 2017.

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For the first time on record for 1888, Reno hit 105 F (40.5 C) for the third consecutive day. A short time later on Monday, the city recorded a record high of 106 F (41.1 C), surpassing the previous record of 104 F (40 C) set in 2017.

People flocked to beaches around Lake Tahoe, particularly Sand Harbor State Park, on Monday for a record high of 92 F (33.3 C) on Sunday. The old record of 88 F (31.1 C) recorded there on Sunday was set in 2014. For the fifth day in a row, the Sand Port closed its doors within 90 minutes of opening at 8 am as it reached its capacity.

“It’s definitely warmer than what we’re used to,” Nevada State Parks spokesman Tyler Gerver said.

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Rush was reported from Portland, Oregon and snow was reported from Phoenix. AP journalists Christopher Weber and John Antsak in Los Angeles; Johnny Harr in San Francisco; and Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada contributed to this report.

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