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Please begin with an informative title:

The Southwest is in the grip of a scorching heat wave.

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You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

As temperatures soared in Las Vegas Friday, 200 people were treated for heat problems at an outdoor concert, Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa said.

Thirty of them were hospitalized for heat-related injuries at Vans Warped Tour at Silverton Casino as temps reached 115.

It was expected to get even hotter in Las Vegas over the weekend.

The heat was so punishing that rangers took up positions at trailheads at Lake Mead in Nevada to persuade people not to hike. Zookeepers in Phoenix hosed down the elephants and fed tigers frozen fish snacks.

Elephants and tigers are hot weather animals, aren't they?
Temperatures are also expected to soar across Utah and into Wyoming and Idaho, with triple-digit heat forecast for the Boise area. Cities in Washington state that are better known for cool, rainy weather should break the 90s next week.

...said weather service meteorologist Mark O'Malley. "It's going to be baking hot across much of the entire West."

The heat is the result of a high-pressure system brought on by a shift in the jet stream, the high-altitude air current that dictates weather patterns. The jet stream has been more erratic in the past few years.

Health officials warned people to be extremely careful when venturing outdoors. The risks include not only dehydration and heat stroke but burns from the concrete and asphalt. Dogs can suffer burns and blisters on their paws by walking on hot pavement.

Officials said personnel were added to the Border Patrol's search-and-rescue unit because of the danger to people trying to slip across the Mexican border. At least seven people have been found dead in the last week in Arizona after falling victim to the brutal desert heat.
But this may be the most telling sign of the new normal:
AMARILLO, TEXAS -- On Sunday, the heat was even the worst enemy for a few airline customers.

Extreme temperatures were the root cause for the cancellation of a few flights out of Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.

We had three flights cancelled yesterday because of the weather conditions, the temperature conditions primarily. Two American and one Continental", says Director of Aviation at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, Pat Rhodes.

If it gets too hot, some aircraft aren't able to function at their normal level... and that's exactly what these airlines were trying to prevent yesterday.

"Because it was so hot and the elevation of this airport, the airplanes could get to a point on take off role where they, if something happened at that point they could not stop on the remaining runway and they could not fly. So it's just a position where they could get obviously unsafe", continues Rhodes.

Now travellers will have to factor in heat waves to their travel plans along with blizzards, thunderstorms and fog. Kind of ironic considering the carbon footprint of air travel.
Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Heavy Mettle on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 08:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by Gulf Watchers Group.

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