Thursday, July 21, 2005 | 9:39 a.m.
As daytime temperatures dropped seven degrees in the Las Vegas Valley on Wednesday, Southern Nevada still managed to break a record.
It's the ninth day in a row that temperatures have reached 110 degrees or higher and if it reaches 110 degrees today Las Vegas will have another record, said Larry Jensen, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.
Wednesday's high was 110, in contrast to the 117 degrees on Tuesday that tied the record for hottest temperature ever recorded in the valley since records began in 1937. The old record of 117 degrees was set on July 24, 1942, at what is now Nellis Air Force Base.
Jensen said that today's high was expected to reach 109 degrees with higher humidity, one degree shy of a record.
"It's 110 degrees vs. 20 percent humidity, or 117 degrees with 4 percent humidity, take your pick," Jensen said. "It definitely is a tradeoff."
The heat wave ignited July 12 as the city began its nine-day streak of 110-degree days or higher, but the dome of high pressure, which had clamped down on the valley for more than a week, has moved east over the Four Corners area of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah.
That allowed moisture to slip in from Arizona, which helped lower the temperature but increase the muggy humidity.
Hurricane Emily is expected to add more moisture into the monsoonal flow Friday and Saturday, setting the stage for possible flash floods by the weekend.
The sizzling temperatures in the valley have taken a human toll.
The coroner's office confirmed that two people have died of heat-related causes in the past week, bringing the total of confirmed heat-related deaths to seven this year. Five heat-related deaths occurred before the current heat wave began.
Metro Police found 91-year-old Dave Davis in an apartment July 14 near Martin Luther King and Lake Mead boulevards. His air conditioner blew hot air. The temperature inside his apartment was 114 degrees, authorities said.
The cause of death is heart problems, but medical examiners said that heat stress was a contributing factor.
A 21-year-old man has also died of heat-related causes, the coroner said. His identity has not been released.
Officials are also investigating the death of David Cheney, 42, who was visiting a friend's home when he died.
The heat wave may have contributed to the death of Terry Lee Walker, 44, address unknown, who was found dead July 13 on the ground near Eastern Avenue and East Charleston Boulevard.
After police discovered 78-year-old Gordon Hansen unconscious in a home Monday morning, they suspected heat contributed to his condition. An autopsy found that he died of natural causes, but the coroner's office is still looking into heat as contributing to his death.
A total of 65 people in Nevada have died from heat-related causes from 2001 to 2003, with all but one reported from Clark County. Another six deaths from people coming to Nevada from other states are blamed on heat.