West News Wire: As dangerously high temperatures continue to be widespread, more than 80 million Americans are still on heat alert. 

Much of the Southwest region is expected to experience highs in the triple digits on Saturday afternoon. Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Palm Springs, California, among other locations, all have excessive heat warnings in force. 

On Saturday, Phoenix is expected to see its 23rd consecutive day of temperatures exceeding 110 degrees. With temperatures predicted to be close to 115 degrees on Saturday, Friday was the city’s fifth straight day with temperatures above 115 degrees, which is very close to the previous record of six days. The city’s low temperature on Saturday morning was 96 degrees, breaking a streak of 13 days without a dip below 90 degrees. 

El Paso, Texas, has seen 36 consecutive days with a minimum temperature of 100 degrees, breaking a record. Saturday may mark day 37, but it will be close because a brief heat wave is expected this weekend. The highest possible high is expected to be in the upper 90s. However, Monday is when highs are predicted to return to the triple digits. 

Heat index readings are reaching deadly levels Saturday afternoon from Texas to Florida due to a confluence of high temperatures and intense humidity. Along the shore, the heat index is predicted to reach 105 degrees and even reach 110 in certain places. 

Miami has felt a heat index of at least 100 degrees for 42 straight days as of Saturday, extending the record it broke a week ago. 

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Unusually warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico and the western Atlantic Ocean are contributing to the persistent and oppressive humidity and limiting nighttime cooling. 

For regions of northern California, Idaho, and Montana, there is also a heat advisory in effect. Highs on Saturday afternoon are predicted to be close to 100 degrees, possibly reaching as far north as Montana, South Dakota, and Minnesota. 

Meanwhile, areas of the middle Plains and the Southeast, including towns like Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Jacksonville, Florida, could experience severe thunderstorms through Saturday night. A severe thunderstorm watch has now been issued for the northern Gulf Coast, extending from northern Florida into Mississippi, until 7 p.m. CT. 

Strong, potentially destructive wind gusts and huge hail are the main risks from any severe thunderstorms that roll through. The risk of a tornado is quite low. Stronger, slower-moving thunderstorms that generate torrential rain may also cause flash floods in regions where the heaviest rain falls and bring frequent lightning. 


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