Extreme heat forces flight cancellations in Southwest. Mercury expected to hit 120 in Phoenix – Los Angeles Times

Tom MarkLast Update : Tuesday 20 June 2017 - 8:58 PM
Extreme heat forces flight cancellations in Southwest. Mercury expected to hit 120 in Phoenix – Los Angeles Times

Dozens of flights have been delayed and canceled out of Phoenix Sky Harbor on Tuesday as the city — and much of the region — withers under another day of excessively hot temperatures.

The National Weather Service reported that Phoenix is expected to hit 120 degrees by late Tuesday afternoon. That would be two degrees shy of the all-time hottest recorded temperature in Phoenix set in 1990.

Las Vegas is also expected to tie its all-time hottest mark of 117 degrees. That hasn’t happened since 2013, and it would only be the third time the city has reached that temperature.

National Weather Service meteorologist Kate Guillet said the temperatures are expected to remain hot through the rest of the week — though Tuesday should be the peak day for heat.

American Airlines said seven flights had been delayed out of Phoenix due to the heat and 43 regional flights have been canceled Tuesday.

The airline said the Bombardier CRJ regional aircraft can operate under a maximum temperature of 118 degrees. Those are largely the American Eagle flights operated by Mesa and SkyWest that have 90 departures and 90 arrivals daily.

There were four heat-related delays out of McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on Monday, but none had been reported for Tuesday.

Christine Crews, spokeswoman for the airport, said in hotter temperatures the airport uses a longer east-west runway for some of the larger planes with heavier loads. The hotter the temperatures get, the thinner the air gets, and more speed is needed for planes to take off.

But flight delays or cancellations are ultimately decided by the airlines.

The largest carrier out of Las Vegas is Southwest, and it reported no delays or cancellations due to the heat. It also reported no cancellations out of Phoenix.

Hainan Airlines launched the first two nonstop flights from Las Vegas to Beijing in late 2016 but announced in May it was changing the departure times out of McCarran in the summer from late afternoon to early morning due to the heat.

McCarran International Airport is the eighth busiest airport in the country. Phoenix Sky Harbor is the 11th busiest airport.

david.montero@latimes.com

Twitter: @davemontero

Source: world

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2017-06-20 2017-06-20
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