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The savage heat that has gripped several western states will persist through the holiday weekend – and for the third day in a row, Californians are advised to reduce their electricity consumption to avoid blackouts .
More than 45 million people were on heat alert across most of California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and parts of Utah and Arizona.
Forecasts call for temperatures above 100 on Friday in towns like Redding, 105; Fresno, 109; and Bakersfield, 106, Calif.; Redmond, Oregon, 103; and Yakima, Washington, 100.
In Nevada, Las Vegas could reach 110 degrees.
“September kicks off with scorching temperatures across the western United States as highs are expected to threaten daily and even monthly records again heading into Labor Day weekend,” said the Weather Prediction. Center Friday morning.
“The heat wave will pose a high to very high risk to the general population, particularly the elderly and those without adequate air conditioning, due to both the intensity of the high temperatures and the duration of the heat wave. heatwave,” the National Weather Service earlier warned. .
High temperature records for September were set Thursday in Salt Lake City, with a temperature of 102, and in Lancaster, Calif., 112. Dozens of daily records were set across the region.
Millions of Californians are urged to reduce their electricity use between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday.
The California Independent System Operator – which runs 80% of the state’s electric grid – released the third Flex Alert of the week, asking residents to pay attention to their electricity usage.
“The Flex Alert covers the time of day when the grid is most stressed by higher demand and less solar power,” the operator explained.
The operator also asked residents to pre-air-condition their homes before 4 p.m. and then set their thermostat to 78 during reduced hours and avoid recharging their electric vehicles.
Why this heat wave is different
High summer temperatures have been the norm in California, but what makes this heat wave particularly dangerous is how long it is expected to linger over much of the state. Also, there will be little relief during the night hours.
“Even after sunset, the heat can be a real hazard, especially in big cities. Dark pavement and buildings absorb heat very effectively,” the Los Angeles Weather Services office said.
And that’s why higher temperatures are more common in big cities, making them susceptible to becoming an “urban heat island,” the service explained.
The weather service defines a heat wave as a period of abnormally hot and humid weather lasting more than two days.
The excessive heat has killed more people than any other extreme weather event in the United States. Heat-related deaths have exceeded hurricane-related deaths by more than 15 to 1 over the past decade, according to data tracked by the National Weather Service.
Climate change is imposing conditions that have made extreme weather events deadlier and more frequent.
In Arizona, where temperatures are expected to hit triple digits this weekend, 111 people died from heat-related complications this year in Maricopa County on Wednesday, according to a report from the county’s public health department.
The report says 38% of deaths occurred in people between the ages of 50 and 64, and 80% of deaths occurred outdoors.
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CNN’s Paradise Afshar, Taylor Romine and Alaa Elassar contributed to this report.