Triple-digit heat will bake areas of the southwestern United States beginning this weekend. It could also bake temperature-sensitive freight if drivers aren’t extra careful.
The heatwave will hit all or portions of the Phoenix, Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; as well as the Stockton, Fresno and Ontario, California freight markets from this weekend through next Monday, July 13.
The heat wave starts today in the Phoenix metropolitan area, where high temperatures will reach 109 to 118 degrees. This includes the suburbs of Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler and Tempe.
The Tucson area will also start to feel the extreme heat Friday when afternoon temperatures reach 107 to 112 degrees, rising to 111 to 117 Saturday and Sunday.
Also today, highs will approach 116 degrees in the Grand Canyon below 4,500 feet elevation in places like Phantom Ranch, Indian Garden, portions of the Bright Angel Trail, and the North and South Kaibab Trails.
The dangerous heat will build into Yuma, Arizona; Las Vegas, Laughlin, Lake Powell and Lake Havasu, Nevada; as well as Barstow, Needles, Death Valley, El Centro and Palm Springs, California Saturday. High temperatures will range from 110 to 125 degrees in these areas, depending on exact location and elevation.
The forecast afternoon temperatures will be around 10 degrees above normal for mid-July, with record highs possible in some areas.
The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings for these areas, lasting through 8 p.m. PDT Monday. An excessive heat warning means that a period of very hot temperatures, even by local standards, is likely.
This kind of prolonged heat can put stress on reefers. Reefers are trailers whose internal temperatures can be set by drivers in order to keep items like beverages or produce from becoming damaged. When outside temperatures are extremely hot or cold, drivers must appropriately adjust the inside climate of their reefers in order to protect their freight.
Ontario, California is a leading market for Reefer Outbound Tender Volumes (ROTVI), based on the latest data from FreightWaves SONAR, and will bake in the heatwave. In other words, it currently has one of the highest amounts of reefer loads available for carriers to accept from shippers, should they decide to do so. As of Friday morning, Ontario ranks second out of the 135 U.S. freight markets.
The elevated ROTVI levels indicate that many reefer drivers could be headed to this area during the heatwave. Not only do they need to protect temperature-sensitive loads, but they will also need to make sure their trucks are in tip-top shape, and they should spend as little time as possible outside of their trucks. The heatwave can be rough on drivers’ trucks and their bodies.
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