Planes Grounded In Nevada And Arizona Due To Heat Wave, As Doorknobs Are Covered To Prevent Scorched Hands

A heat wave with temperatures soaring to 118 degrees in Arizona and Nevada have caused more than 40 planes to be grounded. The maximum operating temperature for some types of commercial airplanes is 118 degrees for and up to 127 degrees for the Airbus and other types of aircraft.

Dozens of flights leaving the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix have been canceled on this first day of summer. Some of the grounded planes were bound for Tucson, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles, MSN reports.

The hundreds of passengers impacted by the heat wave flight cancellations have been given the option of rebooking their trip or canceling the flight and getting a full refund.

"We continue to offer flexibility for our customers who are scheduled to arrive/depart PHX June 19-21 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.," a statement from American Airlines' statement said.

Extreme temperatures cause a change in air density that makes it more difficult for airplanes to take off from the runway, the Daily Mail reports. During periods of intense heat, airlines are often known to carry less fuel, cargo, and reduced occupancy.

Officials in both Arizona and Nevada have warned residents and visitors to use extreme caution when touching doorknobs, car gear shifters, and steering wheels because of the incredibly hot weather. Store owners in Phoenix placed covers over doorknobs at their businesses to prevent customers from burning their hands.

Sidewalks in many Nevada and Arizona cities were nearly abandoned today as residents and visitors adhered to warnings to stay inside to avoid the extreme temperatures.

Temperatures in Las Vegas hit 117 degrees this afternoon. Excessive heat warnings were issued throughout the state of California today. The National Weather Service is anticipating temperatures to soar to about 120 degrees in Phoenix. The Arizona city has not reportedly experienced such drastically high temperatures for at least two decades.

"That's deadly heat no matter how you slice it," National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Breckenridge said

Multiple flights have been canceled in the northeast region of the United States as well. Severe thunderstorm weather predictions for later today caused numerous cancellations and delays. States in the Gulf Coast region are prepping for Tropical Storm Cindy.

The strong weather system is expected to spark heavy rain and flash flooding in the region. A tropical storm warning has been issued along the coast of Louisiana. The storm, which boasts 40 MPH winds, is expected to reach the coast by later tomorrow night.

[Featured Image by Tom Wang/Shutterstock]