A brutal heat wave that began over the weekend will spread across more Western states all week long. Drivers should do everything they can to beat the heat for the sake of their health, as well as their trucks.
Temperatures in the 90s and 100s were common Saturday and Sunday in parts of the Desert Southwest and Southern California.
Daily record highs were set both days in Tucson, Nogales and Safford, Arizona, where the mercury hit between 108 and 113 degrees. Normal highs for June 12 and 13 range between 97 and 101 degrees.
El Paso, Texas, set a daily record high of 109 degrees Saturday, with a daily record of 102 Sunday in Salt Lake City.
Potential record heat is forecast to hit more and more places across the region through Friday, even spreading to northern California later in the week.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued excessive heat warnings, excessive heat watches and heat advisories for the following areas in California: the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, the Sierra Nevada foothills, the Los Angeles metropolitan area and inland locations of the San Diego metropolitan area.
The NWS has also posted these alerts for most of Nevada, Utah and Arizona, as well as the western half of New Mexico.
Highs in Las Vegas could reach 110 to 115 degrees, 11 to 16 degrees above normal for mid-June. In Salt Lake City, temperatures could hit 97 to 102 degrees. The normal high is about 84.
Highs in Phoenix and Yuma, Arizona, could crack 115 degrees at least once this week, while topping 110 degrees in Tucson.
Beginning Tuesday, highs in the Los Angeles area will range from the upper 90s in the mountains to about 108 degrees in the valleys. Even some of the beaches will sizzle with temperatures reaching the mid-80s.
Some of the hottest weather could be across parts of Southern California, where highs could reach close to 120 degrees in places such as Death Valley, Indio, Palm Springs, Palm Desert and Coachella.
The sizzling heat will spread to northern California Thursday and Friday, with temperatures of 100 to 110 degrees in places like Sacramento, Redding, Chico, Red Bluff and Stockton, with upper 90s in Ontario.
Impact on freight
Many carriers may be trying to position drivers in several markets where the heat wave will take over. They’re shaded in blue (inside the red rectangle) on the FreightWaves SONAR Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI) map above, meaning they have some of the highest levels of outbound freight available being offered by shippers for pickup.
(Map: FreightWaves SONAR Outbound Volume Tender Index (OTVI). To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.)
With the potential for many drivers heading into the extreme heat, staying hydrated will be very important. Also, drivers should wear comfortable, light-colored clothing and lay a light-colored blanket over their drivers’ seats to keep them cool while taking breaks.
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