Is your summer too much of a damp squib? Then head over to Death Valley

Sweltering conditions hit Arizona and California in a heat wave set to last all weekend.

Western US states are preparing for record temperatures over Saturday and Sunday.

Thermometers in Phoenix, Arizona hit 47C and California's infamous Death Valley desert is expected to reach temperatures of 53.8C and could rise.

National Weather Service (NWS) Meterologist Mark O'Malley said: “We'll be at or above record levels in the Phoenix area and throughout a lot of the south-western United States,” according to the BBC.

In a bid to cope with soaring temperatures, cooling stations fitted with air conditioning are being opened and police have issued pleas to residents not to leave children or pets in vehicles.

The heat could even make travel more difficult and aircrafts could be grounded if temperatures rise above 47C.

Rangers have been positioned on popular hiking spots such as Lake Mead to discourage hiking and extra staff are on duty with the US Border Controls' search and rescue team over fears that immigrants trying to illegally cross the border could fall ill from dehydration.

Heat warnings were issues by the NWS, who advised residents in Arizona to stay out of the blistering heat wherever possible. Weather warnings were also issued across five other Western states, including Utah and Nevada.

Animal owners were advised not to take their pets outdoors for fears of blistering paws from the scorching ground.

NWS specialist Stuart Seto explained that severe weather conditions such as this occur when high pressure causes air to sink and become warmer, whilst pulling down humidity.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Mr Seto said: “As the air warms, it can hold more moisture, and so what that does is take out the clouds.”

Western Washington, renowned for it's rainy weather, has received weather forecasts of over 32C.

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