Sizzling heat in Southwest U.S.

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Children play at a water park in Las Vegas, NV, USA, 20 June 2017 (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Excessive heat warnings have been posted in parts of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico where record highs have been broken.

Las Vegas tied its record today of 47 C and Phoenix came close to its all-time high at 48 C.

Many flights have been delayed or cancelled since smaller jets can’t operate properly in dangerously hot conditions.

Temperatures have soared to 53 C in Death Valley, California which climbed to 56.7 C on 10 July 1913 – the hottest ever in North America.

Newton nails Baja California

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Hurricane Newton comes ashore in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, 06 Sept 2016 (AFP)

Hurricane Newton slammed Mexico’s southern Baja California peninsula today as a Category-1 hurricane with torrential rain and winds up to 100 km/h.

Palm trees were toppled in Cabo San Lucas and power was knocked out power to thousands in the resort community.

Authorities say a shrimp boat capsized in rough seas in the Gulf of California, killing two people and leaving three others missing.

 The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm would make landfall again in Sonora state before bringing heavy rain to the American desert states of Arizona and New Mexico.

California cold snap eases

Icy oranges in Redlands, CA, USA, 15 Jan 2013 (AP)

Icy oranges in Redlands, CA, USA, 15 Jan 2013 (AP)

The cold spell in California may be coming to an end but citrus growers say crops in the state have been damaged by temperatures that have dipped to as a low as -5 C during the past few nights.

The mandarin orange crop has been especially hard hit.

Even the major cities have been unusually cold with downtown Los Angeles dropping to near freezing on Monday morning setting a new record.

Farmers in neighbouring Arizona are also reporting losses especially to lettuce crops and prices are predicted to soar as a result.