Ross D. Franklin / AP
The oven is fueled by a persistent dome of high pressure parked over the western United States, the National Weather Service said. The system is expected to remain there at least through the weekend, with any cooling later this week expected to be “almost unnoticeable,” it said, warning of a “major potential for heat-related illness and even death” in the days to come.
In conditions like that, everyday objects can become branding irons — “hot enough so that anybody touching something can get a second-degree burn in less than a second,” said Dr. Kevin Foster, director of the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix.
“Touching the silver handle to a car door or sitting down into black upholstery in a car or even touching the steering wheel in a car can cause burns,” Foster told NBC News.
And if you want to use your garden hose to cool off? Think twice, Foster said.
“The hose itself can be very hot,” he said. “And the water coming out of the hose can be close to boiling.”
Alex Johnson reported from Los Angeles. Miguel Almaguer and Steven Louis reported from Phoenix.