"There's no reprieve": Temperature in Phoenix shoots toward 120

PHOENIX -- Unrelenting heat is bearing down on Phoenix as the temperature shoots toward a record-breaking 120. Fire crews are rushing to handle a surge in heat emergencies.

When its over 110, your body cannot cool itself down, setting up the potential for deadly heat stroke.

"Your house stays hot, buildings stay hot. The sidewalk stays hot. So there's no reprieve basically," says Director of Emergency Management Lisa Jones. 

The city opened 47 cooling centers across the valley, and about 50 flights had to be canceled at Sky Harbor Airport because it may be too hot to fly. 

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Temperatures in Phoenix are headed toward a record-breaking 120 degrees.

CBS News

"For the last few days, it is very hot -- I have never seen it this hot before," said Osman Sharif, who has spent the last two days loading bags in triple-digit degree heat. He's hydrating and taking breaks, but says you can't escape this weather. 

"On the concrete, it is 168 degrees," Sharif says. 

With temperatures at 118 from above, and 168 degrees on the concrete, Sharif says it can feel like he's in an oven. 

The heat intensified a dust storm, leading to an accident on Interstate 10 on the Arizona and New Mexico border, killing six.

Across the Southwest, it's a scorcher, with temperatures well into the triple digits: 

  • Death Valley, California: 126 
  • Palm Springs: 119
  • Tucson: 115
  • Las Vegas: 113
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Skiiers in Lake Tahoe, Calif., during the heat wave.

CBS News

But for skiers near California's Lake Tahoe, the hot weather was a chance to work on their tan while hitting the slopes. 

Only in California.

California issued its first alert of the year asking residents to scale back on electricity, while parts of Arizona are seeing record demand for electricity. Phoenix is bracing for another hot day on Wednesday, but the forecast for Friday calls for a cool down -- to 111.