There is little that's normal about the heat wave roasting the Southwest U.S. during the past several days. In Phoenix and Palm Springs, temperatures were so high that 43 flights on American Eagle's regional jets were canceled on Tuesday afternoon because the heat exceeded aircraft operating limits.
So far, slightly lower temperatures are expected on Wednesday, and there were no heat-related delays or cancelations as of Wednesday morning, American Airlines said in an email.
The reason for the flight cancelations is that the heat plus the relatively high altitudes in the Southwest caused the air to be so thin that it was impossible for small jets' wings to generate enough lift to become safely airborne. Since Sunday, more than 100 flights were canceled due to the heat, according to American Airlines and news reports. Read more...More about Climate, California, Global Warming, Extreme Weather, and Climate Change