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.

Blizzard batters U.S. Great Plains

Snow clearing in Amarillo, TX, USA, 20 Dec 2011 (AP photo)

A deadly storm is barreling through the U.S. Great Plains dropping more that 30 cm of snow in some areas and leaving snow drifts several metres high.

Travel was treacherous in New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas and the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas today.

More than seven deaths are being blamed on the blizzard just days before the official start of winter.

The storm is now heading east toward the Great Lakes.

Snow falls in Texas, New Mexico

Snow El Paso, USA, 05 Dec 2011 (Vagalatos photo)

The first snow of the season fell in West Texas, USA yesterday dropping about 4 cm on the city of El Paso which straddles the border with Mexico.

My cousin, who lives in El Paso, sent me photos of the early winter wonderland.

Although El Paso is in the American Southwest, the city does occasionally see snow due to its high elevation.

The U.S. Weather Service notes El Paso receives about 16 cm of snow in an average winter although some storms have dropped large accumulations of 30 cm or more.

Snow also fell in neighbouring New Mexico where a major interstate highway was closed and temperatures dipped to as low as -15 C.