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Oppressive heat to challenge all-time records across the southwestern US this weekend

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Extreme heat will persist for several days across the southwestern United States starting this weekend.

A strong ridge of high pressure will take control and strengthen into next week, sending temperatures to dangerous levels.

"When a ridge of high pressure like this one forms in the middle to late June, it can deliver some of the hottest weather possible to the Desert Southwest," AccuWeather Western U.S. Expert Ken Clark said.

Temperatures will run between 10 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit above average through the early part of next week.

"The peak of the heat in many areas will be on Monday, but Sunday and Tuesday will be no slouches either in the high heat department," Clark said.

Not only will it be hot compared to average, but temperatures will likely challenge daily record highs and all-time record highs.

Palm Springs, California; Phoenix, Arizona; and Albuquerque, New Mexico, are just some of the many cities which will approach or perhaps exceed their all-time record-high temperatures this weekend into early next week.

"This will push power to the limits to keep buildings cooled and any outdoor efforts should be severely limited if not avoided completely," AccuWeather Meteorologist Matt Rinde said.

While the extreme heat is common during the summer months across the Southwest, the upcoming heat will be dangerous if not deadly.

"The last time temperatures were close to the levels we are expecting in the Southwest was in 2005 and 1990," Clark said.

The highest temperature on record in the United States during the month of June is 129 F in Death Valley, California, on June 30, 2013.

"That record could be in jeopardy this weekend or early next week," AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.

Despite very dry air and low humidity levels in place, AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures will still run a few degrees higher than the actual temperature.

Those heading outdoors for an extended period of time should wear light-colored clothing, take frequent breaks from activity and stay hydrated.

Pets should not be kept outdoors as they could develop a heat stroke or get sunburnt.

Those traveling at highway speeds during the peak heating in the afternoon will want to use caution as the very hot asphalt could lead to tire blowouts. The heat could also buckle roadways, causing cars to become airborne and spin out of control.

"Flights could be affected at major airports, including Sky Harbor in Phoenix and McCarran in Las Vegas, as the extreme heat makes it harder for planes to get lift," Clark said.

The heat and dry weather will only increase the threat for new wildfires to ignite.

Those hoping to beat the heat will want to head to the California beaches as temperatures will run between 30 and 40 degrees lower than most interior locations.

The strong high will begin to break down by the middle to end of next week. While it will remain hot, temperatures will dip much closer to average.