Planes grounded by extreme heat in Phoenix, Arizona

Source KPNX-TV

Source KPNX-TV

Death Valley, California, reached 125 and Palm Springs hit 121, still a degree lower than the same day past year.

The mercury hit 119 degrees Fahrenheit in Phoenix on Tuesday, 117 in Las Vegas and 121 degrees in Palm Springs, Calif.

More than 29 million residents in California are under a heat warning or advisory. In fact, temperatures of 118 or above have only been recorded 15 times since records were first kept in 1896. Hot air, which is less dense and more excited, forces the plane to build more speed before it can take off.

When the air is that hot, it becomes too thin for the plane's wings to get enough lift to safely carry it into the sky. Thin air makes it hard for planes to get lift.

"The high temperatures, which will peak between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Phoenix time, could impact flight operations".

American Airlines canceled 43 flights on Tuesday in and out of Phoenix due to the heat and the company anticipated canceling more.

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According to a statement released by the airline, larger aircraft that fly out of Phoenix, such as Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s, will be operating normally as they have operating temperatures at 126 degrees and 127 degrees, respectively.

Though they may not set new records, temperatures are going to stay dangerously hot through the weekend. Those jets can't operate when it's 118 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

"We have homeless people come from a long way to sit here", longtime volunteer Moses Elder said.

"The heat at the surface causes a wind pattern that starts to draw moisture up from the Gulf of California and from the Pacific Ocean", he said.

A couple of weeks ago, parts of interior ME had a heat wave and heat advisories were issued.

Salvation Army volunteer Jackie Rifkin tries to keep cool at she works at a special Salvation Army hydration station to help people try to keep hydrated and stay cool as temperatures climb to near-record highs, Monday, June 19, 2017, in Phoenix. The buildup of warmth creates a large-scale trough of low pressure that extends from Mexico to Arizona, Southern California and Nevada.

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It is the air density that can get in the way.

Tucson, for example, experiences its wettest months in July and August, although the monsoon can last through September.

"This is the hottest part of the year for the desert Southwest", Godwin said.

Multiple flights have been canceled in the northeast region of the United States as well. In the Southwest, there's no moisture in the ground for the sun's energy to evaporate.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring towns and adjoining states, the extreme heatwave shattered records, strained power grids and brought warnings from public officials not to venture outside unless absolutely necessary. Friday's highs should drop to the mid to upper 80s. Evaporation, which cools the body, would be momentarily effective if you got out of a pool in Arizona today.

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