PHOENIX – Extreme heat sizzled across the U.S. Southwest again on Wednesday after ramping up electricity use so much in the Phoenix area that a major utility broke a record.
The National Weather Service office in Phoenix said temperatures in the city hit 116 degrees on Wednesday, setting a new high for the date. Residents of southern Arizona could expect some relief in the coming days as temperatures start to ease slightly, forecasters said.
The Salt River Project utility that delivers electricity to about 2 million customers in Phoenix and the rest of central Arizona said demand was so great between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday that it set a record of 7,252 megawatts to retail customers.
That topped the utility’s previous system peak of 7,219 megawatts on June 20, 2017. One megawatt is enough to power about 225 average homes.
The utility said the increased demand was the result of this week’s extreme temperatures, which on Tuesday reached 116 degrees in Phoenix, a tie with city’s record high for the date set in 2014.
Most of Arizona and parts of California, Nevada and Utah have been under an extreme heat warning this week.
Las Vegas authorities said the city could see the hottest weather this year, while fire officials warned conditions could be dangerous.