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The first heat wave of the season is scorching parts of the western and southern US

The first heat wave of the season is scorching parts of the western and southern US

(Reuters) – Millions of people in the western and southern United States will bear the brunt of the first heat wave of the summer from Tuesday, as temperatures across the region are expected to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) will rise.

From Northern California through Southern Arizona to South Texas, approximately 19 million Americans will spend the remainder of the work week under extreme heat warnings and advisories from the National Weather Service (NWS).

The forecast calls for temperatures in the triple digits in many low-lying places, including Sacramento, Phoenix and in Las Vegas, where the high is expected to reach 111 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Celsius) on Thursday, the NWS said.

“High temperature anomalies of 20-30 degrees (Fahrenheit) above average are likely. Widespread temperature records are expected to be set or broken in many of the above areas,” it added.

Forecasters and local officials are urging residents to stay in air-conditioned spaces, drink plenty of fluids and check on neighbors and relatives during the heat wave.

“Extreme heat is an invisible but dangerous consequence of climate change, and CA’s outdoor workers, seniors and children are especially vulnerable,” California’s Environmental Protection Agency said in a social media post.

The heat wave is the first of the summer season for the United States, where warmer-than-normal temperatures are expected in many regions over the next three months, according to the NWS.

The extreme heat is putting pressure on power grids in the United States. In May, the North American Electric Reliability Corp, a group that sets reliability standards for North America, said large parts of the United States were still at risk of supply shortages due to this summer’s heat.

The outlook for warm weather could also lead to more wildfires in California this summer as arid, windy conditions fuel the fires. A 5,665-acre wildfire called the Corral Fire was 75% contained after thousands of residents were forced to evacuate east of San Francisco this weekend.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Will Dunham)