Heat Wave in USA on June 18 2017 04:00 AM (UTC).
People in Arizona are used to triple-digit temperatures in the summer, but an extreme heat wave gripping the Southwest this week had temperatures rising to 120 degrees. At that extreme temperature, strange things begin to happen. Arizona residents have been posting photos on social media of objects that they say have melted due to the extreme heat. It's important to note that none of these photos have been independently verified. The melted mailbox photo prompted KSAZ to ask an expert if it was possible for extreme heat to do that kind of damage. The engineering expert said that while it was unlikely that the plastic post completely melted, the heat could have weakened it, causing it to fall over, KSAZ reported. As for the photos of melting street signs, KPNX verified via a transportation official that the damage to the sign was age-related, not specifically heat-related. And the photo of the melted trash bin? That was posted on Reddit in 2016, and many doubted its veracity then. One thing is for certain: The heat in Arizona is no joke. Flights were grounded temporarily this week at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix due to the extreme temperatures. Phoenix emergency rooms have seen an increase in burn cases, most contact burns from bare skin touching pavement or a hot car's interior, azcentral reported. Pet owners are urged to take precautions as an increase in heat-related emergencies has been reported at Arizona animal hospitals.
The main burn center in Phoenix has seen its emergency department visits double during the heat wave that is scorching the Southwest U.S., including people burning their bare feet on the scalding pavement. Dr. Kevin Foster, director of the Arizona Burn Center, said this June is the worst the center has seen in 18 years. Most patients arrive with contact burns from touching hot car interiors or walking outside without shoes. Foster said one child received contact burns after crawling through a doggy door onto the hot pavement. "Getting up to 120 really makes a difference," Foster said. The burns are among several hazards resulting from a heat wave that has plagued Arizona, Nevada and California, including deaths, increased wildfire risks and a water shortage in one community. The heat wave brought a high of 119 degrees (48 degrees Celsius) in Phoenix on Tuesday. Las Vegas topped out at 117, and California has been broiling in triple-digit temps.
American Airlines has canceled 20 regional flights scheduled for Tuesday at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport because of excessive heat that could affect aircraft performance. That could affect some Tucsonans planning to fly from Phoenix, but there have been no heat-related flight cancellations at Tucson International Airport and none are expected. Over the weekend, American sent notices to passengers booked on Phoenix flights from Monday through Wednesday, warning them it may have to ground flights in Phoenix during a heat wave that could send the temperature soaring to 120 degrees. American is allowing Phoenix passengers flying during the peak heat period between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to change flights without a fee. The forecast calls for a high of 118 on Monday and 120 on Tuesday in Phoenix. The affected Tuesday flights are American Eagle routes operated by Mesa Airlines and SkyWest Airlines, which fly Bombardier regional CJR airliners that are most affected by excessive heat. American had not canceled any Monday flights to or from Sky Harbor as of noon, an American spokeswoman confirmed, adding that Tuesday's canceled flights include both departures and arrivals.
American Airlines is offering customers who are either arriving at or departing from Phoenix next week the chance to change their flights to avoid travel interruptions caused by the heat. Customers who have flights scheduled between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday can make changes to their travel plans without a fee. Heat has disrupted travel at Sky Harbor in the past. In 1990, Phoenix experienced its hottest day ever with 122-degree weather and planes were grounded because pilots were not certain the aircrafts would perform well in the heat. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are likely to reach record high temperatures with Tuesday expected to have a temperature high of 121 degrees.