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Nevada could record highs amid extreme heat this weekend

July 9, 2021 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas could hit its all-time high this weekend as the state and much of the Western U.S. are forecast to see extreme heat.

The record high for the city is 117 degrees Fahrenheit (47.22 degrees Celsius) at McCarran International Airport, most recently in June 2017, according to the National Weather Service.

The city has recorded that high temperature four times, but Saturday and Sunday offer a chance for Las Vegas to net a fifth.

“There’s a chance for both days. Right now, our current forecast is just underneath that,” National Weather Service meteorologist Stan Czyzyk said Friday.

Saturday’s high is currently forecast at 116 (46.67 C) and Sunday at 115 (46.11 C).

The high temperatures on Friday led to delays of flights at McCarran airport, where air traffic control workers re-arranged the runways because of heat and wind. The airport said in a Twitter post that flights were still taking off and landing, but extreme heat and wind prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to change the direction of airplane traffic.

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It was not clear Friday how many flights had been affected.

Nighttime is expected to offer little relief, with overnight lows staying above 90 (32.22 C), Czyzyk said.

There’s a chance the Las Vegas valley might see isolated thunderstorms early next week. But there’s a long hot summer ahead with the potential for the city to hit more records in the weeks ahead.

High heat and record temperatures are expected across the West this weekend.

In California’s Death Valley, about 150 miles west of Las Vegas, temperatures could reach 130 (54 C).

Laughlin, about 100 miles south of Las Vegas on the Nevada-Arizona border, is also expected to approach its all-time high temperature this weekend.

Forecasters are predicting city, which faces the Colorado River, could hit 124 (51.11 C) on Saturday. Laughlin’s record high is 125 (51.67 C). That was set in 1994 and is the hottest temperature ever recorded in Nevada.

Clark County, which includes Las Vegas and Laughlin, has set up 13 cooling stations for those in need of a break from the heat.

An excessive heat warning is also in effect until Monday night for northern Nevada, especially in the north-central part of the state where the service said “dangerously hot conditions” are expected from Fernley to Lovelock, Yerington and Hawthorne.

Highs there forecast up to 105 (40.5 C) on Friday could reach 109 (42.7 C) by the weekend.

New record highs on Thursday included 99 (37.2 C) in Eureka and 98 (36.6 C) in Ely. Tonopah tied its record-high of 102 (38.8 C). It was 107 (41.6 C) in Lovelock, 105 (40.5) in Fallon and 100 (37.7 C) in Reno.

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Associated Press writer Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada, contributed to this report.