BULLHEAD CITY — The National Weather Service Las Vegas Office has upgraded its excessive heat watch to a heat warning for the Tri-state this weekend and into next week.
On Tuesday, the NWS issued a watch with temperatures expected to reach 115 degrees in the Bullhead City area. On Wednesday, that advisory became an extreme heat warning with daytime highs possibly reaching 120 degrees Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
A watch indicates that conditions are favorable for a hazard to occur; a warning means that the hazard is occurring or is very likely.
The warning affects Bullhead City as well as Lake Havasu City, Fort Mohave, Desert Hills, Topock/Golden Shores, Kingman, Golden Valley, Dolan Springs, Valentine, Wikieup and Yucca in Arizona; Needles, Bishop, Independence, Lone Pine, Olancha, Death Valley National Park, Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells, Shoshone, Barstow, Daggett, Fort Irwin, Baker, Mountain Pass, Mitchell Caverns, Morongo Valley, Yucca Valley, Twentynine Palms and Vidal Junction in California; and Laughlin, Mesquite, Overton, Moapa, Pahrump, Indian Springs, Desert Rock, Amargosa Valley, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, Primm, Searchlight and Cal-Nev-Ari in Nevada.
“Increasing temps through the weekend will lead to high heat risk for the lower deserts,” said the advisory. “Las Vegas is expected to see its first 110-degree day, potentially as early as Friday. Many locations will be near or within a few degrees of record high temperatures.”
The extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. This is especially true during warm or hot weather when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.
“We would like to send out a reminder to stay hydrated, take breaks in the shade as often as possible if outdoors, check on your elderly neighbors that might need assistance, never leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle (look before you lock), and limit strenuous outdoor activities,” said Lori Viles, of the Bullhead City Fire Department’s Community Risk Reduction Division.
Know the difference between heat exhaustion and a heat stroke: Heat exhaustion can cause one to faint or become dizzy, sweat excessively, have cool, pale, clammy skin and muscle cramps. Heat stroke causes one to have a throbbing headache, no sweating, a body temperature above 103 degrees, skin that’s red, hot and dry and loss of consciousness. Both heat illnesses can cause the sufferer nausea or vomiting and rapid pulse.
However, heat exhaustion comes with a weak pulse while heat stroke causes one’s pulse to be strong.
Someone with heat exhaustion needs to be in a cooler, air-conditioned location but someone who appears to have heat stroke needs medical attention immediately.
If in doubt, do not hesitate to call 911 for medical assistance, Viles added.
The NWS warning placed the Bullhead City/Laughlin area at a moderate threat for heat impact today and Friday, a major threat on Saturday and an extreme threat on both Sunday and Monday.
Las Vegas and areas within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, including both Lake Mohave and Lake Mead, are at moderate risk today through Saturday and major risk Sunday and Monday.
According to the NWS, the extreme classification is used rarely; the major designation is used infrequently and the moderate is used for events “a few times per year.”
Each carry the potential threat to lives and property if no or incorrect actions are taken.
“Impact levels may be increased for weather events that may impact planned outdoor events or for impacts during popular recreation periods such as holidays or weekends,” the NWS said.
The NWS forecast for the Bullhead City/Laughlin area, including Fort Mohave and Mohave Valley, calls for a high around 111 today, 116 Friday and 120 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Overnight lows are expected to be in the mid-80s today and around 90 each night through Monday.
Tuesday’s forecast calls for a high around 116 and a low around 90.
Highs in the Needles and Lake Havasu City areas are expected to be around 110 today and Friday, then to around 120 Saturday through Tuesday. Lows are expected to be in the upper 80s today and Friday to around 90 for the weekend and into Monday.
Daily News reporter Terri Harber contributed to this report.