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Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos is pleading with the public to avoid the outdoors after three heat-related deaths in the Tucson area just this weekend.

Nanos said the three deaths are easily preventable by avoiding the outdoors in record heat.

At least five people in Arizona have died in heat-related incidents in the past two days.

Northern AZ Radar

Jun 7, 2016
David Wallace/The Arizona Republic

A new study of global weather patterns over the past 35 years supports earlier scientific predictions the southwestern United States will become drier as atmospheric conditions that typically bring the most rain and snow to the region continue to become more rare.

The research supported by the National Science Foundation concludes that what's now considered a normal year of precipitation in the Southwest is drier than it used to be.

The scientists emphasize the new data doesn't prove climate change is responsible for increasing frequency and duration of drought.

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