Heat wave still scorching western US (with forecast video)

Sun jut above the horizon at dusk, with tractor-trailer in the foreground.

Sizzling heat will continue to bake parts of the western United States for at least one more day. The hottest weather will hit the Central Valley of California, southern Nevada and Arizona.

SONAR Critical Events: Thursday, May 28, 2020, 9 a.m. EDT; Excessive heat (orange-shaded areas)

Record highs of 101 to 109 degrees were set in several California cities Tuesday and Wednesday, including Barstow, Fresno, Hanford, Merced, Modesto, Sacramento and Stockton, as well as North Las Vegas, Nevada. These temperatures were 10 to 20 degrees above normal for late May.

A strong ridge of high pressure will stay in place across the Southwest, keeping skies sunny and the air very dry. This will allow the mercury to rise quickly to record/near record levels again today in the areas previously mentioned. Excessive heat warnings and heat advisories issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) several days ago will stay in effect in some areas stricken by drought.

High temperatures will crack 100 degrees in the Central Valley of California along the Interstate 5 corridor, from Redding to Sacramento, Stockton and Bakersfield. Areas between the Central Valley and San Francisco, as well as the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, will warm into the 90s.

Meanwhile, highs in the Las Vegas and Phoenix metropolitan areas could hit or exceed 110 degrees, in addition to communities in the southern California deserts. In Death Valley, the mercury could top 120 degrees!

The overwhelming heat may impact drivers in three major freight markets that rank in the top 20 in terms of total outbound tender volumes (OTVI) – Ontario and Stockton, California, as well as Phoenix, Arizona. They rank second, 13th and 17th, respectively, according to FreightWaves SONAR, and account for a combined 7.8% of the nation’s outbound freight.


Drivers will need to take extra good care of themselves, their trucks, and their temperature-sensitive loads if they’re hauling reefer freight such as produce or beverages.

Parts of the Southwest will get a break from the heat starting Friday, as the high pressure moves eastward and low pressure approaches the West Coast. However, the heat wave could keep going through this weekend in portions of Arizona and southeastern California.

Have a great day! Please stay healthy and be careful out there!