A massive ridge of high pressure is set to expand across the western United States this week, allowing summerlike heat to envelop much of the region.
Daily record-high temperatures could be challenged through much of the week in places like Phoenix and Las Vegas as a result.
While triple-digit heat isn’t uncommon in these cities, temperatures of this level are more commonly observed in June rather than late April.
But courtesy of the ridge of high pressure poised to build over the region, both of these cities could record their first triple-digit high temperatures of 2020 this week.
Many other cities across the Southwest can expect similar highs. Along with the heat, plenty of sunshine is in the cards as well.
While the dry season typically kicks off around this time in the Desert Southwest, the unusual heat will not bode well for the expansive drought conditions in place.
Many locales across the Four Corners region are reporting moderate-to-severe drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Aside from an isolated shower or thunderstorm across Utah’s Wasatch Range and the Colorado Rockies on Sunday and Monday, precipitation chances will fall to near zero across the region into early week.
Progressing into midweek, the ridge of high pressure will surge northward, ushering in the hottest air mass of the year so far across both the Desert Southwest and Intermountain West.
By Wednesday, record-challenging temperatures are forecast in Salt Lake City, Utah and Boise, Idaho. Both cities are expected to climb into the middle to upper 80s.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, are among other cities expected to experience multiple days of near-record heat during the early to middle part of the week.
These areas will also be at a heightened risk of wildfire spread.
Residents should take precautions to protect themselves from heat-related illnesses as the mercury rises this week.
Any outdoor exercise or strenuous labor should be completed during the early morning or evening hours if at all possible to avoid the hottest times of the day. Whenever outdoors, drink plenty of water, wear a hat and sunscreen and stay in the shade as much as possible.
In expansive heat such as this, temperatures inside vehicles can quickly climb to lethal levels, so do not leave children or pets behind in vehicles for any length of time.
Temperatures are expected to fall from record-challenging territory by this weekend as the dome of high pressure slides eastward into the center of the country. However, dry conditions will persist.