Too hot for planes: Flights cancelled as extreme heat hits Phoenix

Phoenix radio station KSLX handed out the protective coverings to protect dogs' paws from the hot pavement, as temperatures in Phoenix are forecasted to hit 120 degrees.

Despite the dangers, the weather may not be as bad as originally expected. The temperature in Phoenix, Arizona also touched almost 50 degrees Celsius, . or just 120 degrees Fahrenheit, one of the highest temperatures ever recorded in the city. It comes as researchers say deadly heat waves like this one are going to grow more frequent.

American Airlines said 43 flights were canceled at Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport because of the heat. The airline also said it will allow Phoenix passengers flying during the peak heat Monday through Wednesday to change flights without a fee.

The cancellations are now affecting shorter, regional flights which use Bombardier CRJ Aircrafts, American Airlines said in a statement Monday.

"As the ambient temperature at a particular airport increases, in this case into the 120s at Phoenix, the amount of lift and power in aircraft engines declines, and the result is that for any given runway length, you can carry less and less payload", said Robert Mann, an industry analyst and former airline executive.

Larger Boeing and Airbus jets can fly in temperatures as high as 53 degrees Celsius.

American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein said the carrier began limiting sales on some flights to prevent the planes from exceeding maximum weight for safe take-off in the hot conditions.

Steve Smith takes a drink of water as he tries to keep hydrated and stay cool as temperatures climb to near-record highs, Monday, June 19, 2017, in Phoenix.

The last time the city reached 120 was in 1995. Really hot. Or, as the Phoenix New Times puts it, the city is "a literal hellscape" and "an unlivable inferno". Phoenix hit its record high of 122 degrees on June 26, 1990, according to The Arizona Republic.

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A 72-year-old man and an 87-year-old woman died Monday in San Jose, California.

Arizona is seeing the most stifling temperatures, but the wrath of the heat wave is being felt across Nevada and California as well. Death Valley temps are expected to reach 127 degrees, the NWS said.

Visitors should be aware of a little-known fact about the temperatures in the gambling mecca: The Strip is often hotter than the rest of the city.

"People can go right from what they think is heat exhaustion to symptoms of a heat stroke which is actually a fatal illness", said Phoenix Fire Department Captain Reda Bigler.

Phoenix has been on watch for 120 degrees (49 degrees Celsius) for several days, a mark only reached three times in recorded history.

Officials in both Arizona and Nevada have warned residents and visitors to use extreme caution when touching doorknobs, auto gear shifters, and steering wheels because of the incredibly hot weather.

Extreme heat causes the air to thin, which makes it harder for airplanes to take off and land safely, mainly smaller jets.

The main burn centre in Phoenix warned people to be careful around auto interiors and pavement and with their pets.

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