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Heat wave scorching the West again

Several days of potential record-breaking triple-digit temperatures likely

Another brutal heat wave will develop across several Western states this weekend, lasting for several days in some areas.

Cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix and Salt Lake City have already set new daily record highs at times this spring and summer, along with all-time record highs in the Northwest late last month. Many of the same places will be under the gun again.

This developing heat wave will cover a large geographical region. The National Weather Service has excessive heat warnings posted across most of California, much of Utah, the western half of Arizona, southern and western Nevada, southern and eastern Oregon, as well as southern Idaho.

In addition to Phoenix, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, major cities in the crosshairs include Sacramento, California; Reno, Nevada; Boise, Idaho; and Spokane, Washington. The extreme heat will also impact interior sections of the Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco areas.

The mercury will soar to triple digits, topping 110 degrees in many spots. In some parts of the Desert Southwest, highs will exceed 115 degrees, possibly reaching up to 130 in Death Valley. Temperatures will hit the 90s in the high elevations of the Sierra Nevada foothills.

To stay cool, drivers should drink plenty of water and keep extra bottled water in their trucks. Covering their drivers’ seats with a light-colored blanket when they’re taking breaks also helps, in addition to driving at night as much as possible.

The heat wave will hit regions that are plagued by devastating drought and prone to wildfires. To prevent new fires from sparking, drivers should avoid dragging chains and parking in grassy areas.

Impact on freight

Several markets out West have elevated levels of outbound freight available. This is shown by the FreightWaves SONAR Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI) in the map below. OTVI is a moving index that reflects loads being electronically offered by shippers to carriers.

(Map: FreightWaves SONAR Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI). To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.)

Elevated OTVI levels are shown in medium and dark blue, like the Stockton, Los Angeles and Ontario markets in California. This is where many drivers may be headed in the coming days, during the heat wave, to pick up freight.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.