2013 Southwestern United States heat wave

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The 2013 Southwestern United States heat wave occurred in late June to early July 2013, lasting from around four days to a week locally. Daily highs were up to 15 °C (26 °F) above average, with relative humidity below 15%. Many locations experienced temperatures over 45 °C (113 °F). 46 monthly record high temperatures were reached or broken, and 21 records for the highest overnight temperatures were reached or broken.

Areas affected


Death Valley, California

The Furnace Creek weather station in Death Valley, California recorded extremely high temperatures, soaring up to 129 °F (53.9 °C) in the daytime and only dropping as high as 100 °F (38 °C). Death Valley has average high temperatures of 110 °F (43.3 °C) in June and of 116.5 °F (46.9 °C) in July, which is the hottest month of the year.

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs, California was also hit by extreme heat as the weather station recorded a high of 122 °F (50 °C). The absolute record high temperature in Palm Springs is 124 °F (51.1 °C).

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona reached highs of 119 °F (48.3 °C), while the record high in Phoenix is 122 °F (50 °C).

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada recorded highs of 117 °F (47.2 °C), nearly equaling its record of 118 °F (47.8 °C).

Yuma, Arizona

Yuma, Arizona recorded a high temperature of 119 °F (48.3 °C), compared to its record high of 124 °F (51.1 °C).

Laughlin, Nevada

Laughlin, Nevada, in the desert southeast of Las Vegas, recorded high temperatures up to 123 °F (50.6 °C). The record high is 125 °F (51.7 °C) at this location.

Lake Havasu, City, Arizona

Lake Havasu City, Arizona recorded a high temperature of 124 °F (51.1 °C). The record is 128 °F (53.3 °C). Lake Havasu City is part of the Lower Colorado River Valley, a low desert region known for extremely hot summers.

Needles, California

Needles, California recorded a high temperature of 125 °F (51.7 °C), equaling the record high.

Barstow, California

Barstow, California reached a high of 119 °F (48.3 °C), close to the record of 120 °F (48.9 °C).

Bullhead City, Arizona

Bullhead City, Arizona recorded a high of 125 °F (51.7 °C). The absolute record high is 126 °F (52.2 °C).

Quartzsite, Arizona

Quartzsite, Arizona reached a high of 120 °F (48.9 °C). The record is 122 °F (50 °C).

Parker, Arizona

Parker, Arizona recorded a high of 122 F. The record was 127 F. Parker is just north of Quartzsite.

St. George, Utah

St. George, Utah recorded a high of 115 F. The record still remains at 116 F.

Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona saw highs of 113 F. The all-time record still remains at 117 F.

Other Areas

Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico, and Colorado also experienced the heat. Evanston, Wyoming saw a high of 102 F, while the previous record was 97 F. Greeley, Colorado saw highs near 96 F. This was a new record as the previous one was 89 F. Boise, Idaho saw a high of 106 F, smashing the old record of 95 F. The city of Santa Fe, New Mexico also saw highs near 104 F. The record however still remains at 107 F.


DPv2 loves original research.

Many people were hospitalized from the effects of the heat. At an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas, 34 people suffered from heat stroke and/or sun stroke while 170 other people suffered from nausea and exhaustion.

A marathon was cancelled in the Mojave Desert surrounding Las Vegas. Six half-marathon runners in Southern California were hospitalized for heat-related illness. Authorities feared immigrants might die in the desert while trying to cross the border between the United States and Mexico, so additional personnel were deployed to monitor the border.[no citations needed here]

Seven people died in the Arizona desert from dehydration and exhaustion. One senior citizen died in her home, which lacked air conditioning. Some emergency shelters with air conditioning were accessible to the public. Forty sheep succumbed to the blazing heat while 200 other animals had to be rescued.

Some airplanes, especially in California, couldn't take off because their performance over 52 °C (126 °F) is extremely poor.


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