Monday, July 9, 2012 | 1:36 p.m.
The Mojave Desert’s burners are raising the heat to dangerous levels this week as afternoon temperatures will peak at 111 degrees today, 112 Tuesday and 113 on Wednesday in Las Vegas, according to the National Weather Service.
But other areas will be even hotter. Temperatures are expected to range from 115 to 120 degrees along the Colorado River; from 112 to 116 in Barstow, Mesquite and Overton; and climb to about 124 degrees in Death Valley, forecasters said.
“Temperatures this hot will make working outdoors considerably more difficult,” the weather service said in issuing an excessive heat warning for Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Heat stroke will be more likely for those engaging in strenuous outdoor activities,” the warning said. “The extremely warm overnight temperatures will make it difficult for the body to recover from the heat, especially for the elderly and homeless and those without air conditioning.”
Forecasters are encouraging people to reschedule outdoor activities to the early morning or early evening hours when it is cooler.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in the shade or air conditioning.
The warning also recommends wearing light-weight and loose-fitting clothing when possible and drinking plenty of water.
“Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location,” the warning said. “Heat stroke is an emergency. Call 911.”
The heat warning is from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday for elevations below 4,000 feet in Las Vegas and most of southern Nevada.
Dan Kulin, a Clark County spokesman, said three cooling stations are part of the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition’s Inclement Weather Shelter Program, which provides seasonal shelter as needed and helps provide funding for long-term day shelters during summer.
• Catholic Charities, 1501 N. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For men only.
• The Salvation Army, 31 W. Owens Ave., North Las Vegas, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. For adults only.
• The Shade Tree, 1 W. Owens Ave., North Las Vegas, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For women and children only.
Kulin said an announcement will be made later about other Las Vegas locations that will open their doors to help keep the homeless and others hydrated and out of the heat.
The criteria for issuing an excessive heat warning are when the temperature is expected to reach 112 degrees or above, said Mike Staudenmaier, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Las Vegas.
“Today will be very, very close (at 111 degrees). Obviously, some locations in the valley will be higher than that,” Staudenmaier said.
High temperatures in the Las Vegas Valley are expected to range today from 104 to 109 degrees on the west side of the valley to 109 to 114 on the east side.
Some moisture will be moving in Thursday to Arizona, which will bring down the temperature readings a few degrees and bring a chance of thunderstorms through the weekend, Staudenmaier said.
Because of a increase in humidity, however, temperatures will still feel oppressive, Staudenmaier said.
He said that while the temperature will be 113 degrees on Wednesday, the low humidity will create a heat index of 106. Although the temperature will fall to 108 on Thursday, the increase in humidity will make the heat index 105.
“It will still be uncomfortable,” he said.
The record high for today at McCarran International Airport, the official recording station for the city, is 113 degrees, set in 1943. The normal high for today’s date is 104 degrees.
Overnight lows are expected to drop into only the mid 80s to mid 90s Tuesday night, forecasters said.