Record heat continues to scorch the West in areas where drought is widespread and wildfires are burning.
Since Saturday, record highs in the 90s and triple digits have been set in cities large and small in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada. With strong high pressure maintaining its grip on the region, there’s no relief in sight until maybe next week.
Some of the hottest temperatures have ranged from 110 to 115 degrees in places such as Phoenix, Tucson and North Las Vegas. Palm Springs, California, reached 120 Tuesday, 16 degrees above normal for mid-June. Salt Lake City set a record high of 107 Tuesday, 23 degrees above normal.
Smaller cities like Nogales and Safford, Arizona, have seen record highs of 108 to 113 degrees, 8 to 10 degrees above normal. The mercury soared to a record 105 Tuesday in Ontario, California, 16 degrees above normal.
These highs shattered old records by 5 to 10 degrees, and the heat may get worse in these and other areas over the next few days, spreading to the Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento areas.
Temperatures in the Sierra Nevada foothills and other high elevations could also reach record levels in the 90s to just above 100 degrees, with unseasonable readings in the 80s and 90s along the Los Angeles beaches.
The National Weather Service has kept excessive heat warnings and heat advisories posted across the region, lasting through this weekend.
This level of heat can be hard on drivers. To keep cool, they should be sure their trucks are in good shape so the air conditioning works properly. Keep extra bottled water around, and spend as much time as possible out of the sun.
For flatbed drivers who have to spend more time outside tying down loads, stay hydrated and wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.
All truckers should have a light-colored blanket to throw over their drivers’ seats to keep them cool. If possible, do more driving at night to avoid the intense heat of the daytime.
Impact on freight
Many drivers may be heading to the Ontario, California, market during the heat wave. Based on the FreightWaves SONAR tree map below of the Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI), Ontario has one of the highest levels of loads being offered by shippers. The highest values appear in the upper left-hand area of the map.
(Map: FreightWaves SONAR Outbound Volume Tender Index (OTVI) tree map. To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.)
As a matter of fact, Ontario has the second-highest OTVI in the country out of 135 markets. Carriers want to send drivers where the freight is, so they may try to position trucks in Ontario as much as possible this week.
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