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Desert Southwest Faces More Dangerous Heat Today

UPDATED 4:15 AM PDT, July 2, 2014

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Fred Allen

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Mojave Desert and Desert Southwest residents will have to sweat it out for one more day. Fortunately, the dangerous heat wave will slowly abate a bit by Thursday and Friday.

A day after reaching 123 degrees in Death Valley, Calif., 113 degrees in Needles, Calif., and 112 degrees in Las Vegas, residents of the Mojave Desert and Desert Southwest will do it all again today.

An Excessive Heat Warning remains in effect across the Mojave Desert, including Death Valley, Calif., Las Vegas, and Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Remember, heat this intense will affect children, pets, the elderly and homeless the most.

A large ridge of high pressure at the surface and upper-levels will continue to suppress cloud cover. In turn, early-July sunshine will heat temperatures into the dangerous category again today. However, this high pressure center will shift out of the Southwest on Thursday, allowing increased moisture as cloud cover and afternoon thunderstorms across the higher terrain. The ever so subtle change will begin to knock temperatures back a few degrees.

While temperatures will stay above the century mark through Saturday, each day will see the mercury knocked down two or three degrees.

The hot weather is not helping the ongoing long-term drought in place. Fortunately, a few showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and evening will at least help chip away at the rainfall deficit in select locations.

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.

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