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Heat Wave Persists Across Southwest

UPDATED 11 AM PDT, June 9, 2014

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Andrew Rosenthal

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The Southwest will continue to bake today, as an early-season heat wave continues unabated with more triple-digit heat expected.

An Excessive Heat Warning remains in affect across the Mojave Desert, including Las Vegas and Death Valley, Calif., today.

An expansive upper-level high pressure ridge in the Southwest is the reason for the early-June heat wave. Sunshine and warm air aloft will send the mercury surging into the lower 100s today. Death Valley could even top out at 116 degrees with Las Vegas seeing highs from 105 to 110 degrees.

Although temperatures will be well-above the average high in the 90s, the heat will not be record-breaking. The high temperature record today in Las Vegas is 111 degrees.

The dry, hot, sunny spell will only worsen the existing Southwest drought. In fact, Las Vegas is just coming out of one of its driest Meteorological Springs on record. Only a trace of rain fell at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas from March 1 to May 31. This amount ties 1950 and 1959 as the driest Meteorological Spring on record.

On Sunday, Las Vegas reached or exceeded the century mark while Death Valley topped out in the lower 100s on six of the last seven days. The hottest reading so far this month at a Live Earth Networks Tracking Station in Death Valley was 119 degrees on Sunday.

Temperatures have already reached the century mark in Las Vegas today, with Death Valley up to 110 degrees. The big thermometer in Baker, Calif., has already reached 95 degrees.

Remember, heat this intense will impact children, pets, elderly and homeless the most. Often referred to as the "silent killer," heat consistently and quietly kills more people than any other weather event in the U.S. In 2013, 123 deaths were a direct cause of extreme heat. The number of tornado and hurricane deaths in 2013 was 109 and 108, respectively. Last year was not just an anomaly either; the ten-year average for heat-related deaths is almost double when compared to both tornadoes and hurricanes.

What should you do to avoid becoming a statistic? The best advice to survive the "Dog Days" of summer is to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated, avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, remain inside during the hottest time of the day -- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing that helps reflect the sun`s energy away from your body, and keep the A/C cranked.

Be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest weather in your neighborhood and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter.

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