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Excessive heat watch for Tucson, Az deserts this week

Parts of Southern Arizona could see "dangerously hot" temperatures as high as 112 degrees Wednesday through Friday — with high humidity adding to the hazardous conditions that will also affect the Tucson and Phoenix areas.

An excessive heat watch will be in effect from Wednesday morning through Friday evening, with highs above the century mark possible, for an area covering the Tucson area, including Green Valley and Oro Valley and Marana, as well as western Pima County and the Tohono O'odham Nation, including Sells and Ajo, as well as much of Pinal County, the Phoenix metro area, and Arizona's western deserts stretching to Yuma and beyond to the California desert, National Weather Service officials said.

"After a couple of weeks of below-normal temps, the heat will be back!," officials said. The last day Tucson's high was 100 degrees or more was August 7.

High temperatures will range from 105 to 112 degrees, and the "extreme heat and humidity will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses," forecasters cautioned. People working outside, and those taking part in outdoor activities, will be particularly at risk.

Temperatures around Tucson are expected to hit 104-105 degrees on Thursday. Nogales and Sierra Vista could see temperatures in the high 90s, with Safford hitting 101, NWS said.

Casa Grande and Phoenix could see 109-110, with areas to the west even hotter.

"Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities," officials said. "Keep in mind you may need to adjust your plans based on the latest health and safety guidelines from CDC and your local officials. Cooling shelters may need to take your temperature or ask questions about how you are feeling."

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From the Weather Service:

An Excessive Heat Watch means that a period of very hot temperatures, even by local standards, will occur. Actions should be taken to lessen the impact of the extreme heat.

Stay indoors and seek air-conditioned buildings. Drink water, more than usual, and avoid dehydrating alcoholic, sugary, or caffeinated drinks. Dress for the heat — lightweight and light-colored clothing. Eat small meals and eat more often. Monitor those with a higher vulnerability to heat, including small children. Check in on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly. If engaging in outdoor activity, take longer and more frequent breaks and avoid the hottest parts of the day. Never leave kids or pets unattended in cars.

Public cooling shelters are available in some areas. Consult county officials for more details, which may include guidance for proper social distancing measures.

Recognize the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. Early signs include thirst and muscle cramps. Heat exhaustion may include: cool, moist, pale skin; headache; dizziness; weakness or exhaustion; nausea. The most serious illness is heat stroke, which may include: vomiting; confusion; throbbing headache; decreased alertness or loss of consciousness; high body temperature (above 105F); hot, dry skin; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; seizures. Heat stroke can be DEADLY. Treat as an emergency and call 911.

Researchers at San Francisco State University conducted a study in 2003 that showed that the temperature inside a vehicle can rise to 114 degrees on a 95 degree day, and will rapidly rise to 140 in under an hour even with the windows open.

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