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Record streaks bake Las Vegas as valley stays above 115

Updated July 10, 2024 - 6:24 pm

Las Vegas sweltered through its fifth straight day of highs above 115 degrees on Wednesday, a prolonged heat stretch never before experienced in the valley.

Reid International Airport’s official thermometer reached 115 at 1:13 p.m., and it kept rising, setting records with nearly every degree.

Forecasters had predicted a high of 119 to possibly tie Tuesday’s high.

A bit later, at 2:30 p.m., Reid airport hit 117 to tie the daily record for July 10 (set in 2021) and also the first time the airport had consecutive days of 117 or higher.

Twenty-five minutes later, the temperature rose to 118, marking the first time the Las Vegas airport had two straight days at 118. While Wednesday’s searing heat continued into the late afternoon, the temperature rose no higher than 118.

Record streaks

The five-day streak with highs of 115 or higher set a record. Four days had been the record, set nearly 20 years ago, July 16-19, 2005, according to the National Weather Service. The normal high temperature this time of year is 105.

Wednesday also marked the eighth straight day of highs reaching 110 or higher. Since July 3, daily high temperatures have reached 113 or hotter.

A streak of 10 days has only happened twice in recorded Las Vegas weather history (since 1937) — June 17-26, 1962, and last year, July 14-23.

The 10-day streak, however, is likely to occur or be surpassed with highs of 114 or hotter forecast through Saturday.

Cooling stations across the region will remain open through 11 p.m. Friday.

The weather service’s excessive heat warning in place for more than a week is set to expire at 11 p.m. Friday.

Thursday’s high will be near 118. Friday should top out near 116, which would mark the 10th straight day of 110 degree heat or higher.

Heat leading to temporary closures

The Neon Museum announced Wednesday that it will close during the day because of extreme heat. The museum was temporarily closed Wednesday, with customers with pre-existing tickets able to reschedule or get a refund, according to its website.

Once temperatures fall below 110 degrees, the museum will reopen, a spokesperson said. This week, this has usually been around 8:30 to 9 p.m., the spokesperson added.

Customers can monitor temperatures before they arrive via a link on the museum’s website.

The state Department of Motor Vehicles has moved to temporarily suspend Walk-In Wednesdays services at several DMV locations.

The agency said the Decatur, Flamingo, Sahara, and Henderson DMV locations are pausing their Wednesday walk-in services because of “intense summertime heat.”

“Customers continue to line up outside of our Las Vegas offices hours before the doors even open, and temperatures are soaring above 100 degrees before 8 a.m.,” DMV Director Tonya Laney said in a statement. “In order to limit heat exposure both inside and outside our offices, we have decided to revert Wednesdays back to appointment-based only. This is a temporary change until temperatures decrease.”

People can schedule Wednesday appointments exclusively on Tuesday afternoons. That, it said, would provide “the same accessibility to services as they would have if they arrived at the office on Wednesday morning.”

Some services, including debt payments, some ID card services and issuance of movement permits are still available without an appointment.

Cooling coming

Despite the continuing record-setting heat, some relief may be on the horizon.

There’s a 10-20 percent chance of some showers Saturday as monsoonal moisture might move into the valley. The high will be near 114.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com.

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