Updated Jul 17, 2023 - Climate

Phoenix ties record with 18 consecutive days of high temperatures of 110-plus

Illustration of the sun with rays coming out of it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Monday was both a record-tying and -setting day in the Valley as our stifling heat wave continued.

Driving the news: Monday was our 18th consecutive day with a temperature at or above 110°F, tying the record of 18 set in 1974.

  • The Phoenix metro will set a new record Tuesday if we hit the projected high of 115°F.
  • Sunday's high of 118°F set a daily record for the date of July 16.

Zoom in: The low temperature Monday morning was 95, the 8th straight day with an overnight low of at least 90°F, the National Weather Service told Axios Phoenix.

  • That breaks the old record of 7 days, which happened twice in 2020 and once in 2012, Matt Salerno, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Phoenix, told us.

Meanwhile, unless we get some rain, Monday will also be the 117th day with no measurable precipitation at Sky Harbor International Airport, which gets into the top 10 longest rainless streaks.

A screenshot of an NWS Phoenix tweet saying: "The high temperature today reported at Sky Harbor was 116 degrees. That ties the record high temperature for this date set back in 2005."
Photo: NWS Phoenix/Twitter

Zoom out: High atmospheric pressure is driving the heat and eliminating any cloud coverage we might otherwise get, Salerno said.

  • "This is not normal," he told Axios Phoenix.

What's next: Unfortunately, we can expect more of the same for a while.

  • NWS extended its excessive heat warning through at least Friday.
  • It may not get better from there either — some forecasts now predict the heat wave could continue into August.
  • The long range weather pattern has uncertainties, particularly regarding the monsoon's arrival, but computer models and NOAA forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center are showing a continuation of above-average temperatures across the West and Southwest into early next month, according to Axios' Andrew Freedman.

Between the (power) lines: Arizona Public Service customers on Friday broke the utility's previous single-day power usage record set in July 2020.

The big picture: Arizona, along with the rest of the Southwest and parts of the South are in the grips of a massive heat wave.

  • As of Monday morning, 100 million people nationwide were under heat alerts.

Why it matters: Sweltering summers are nothing new for Valley residents, but the sustained intensity of the high temperatures comes with extra health risks.

Context: Human-caused climate change is worsening heat by making it more intense, longer-lasting and more likely to occur.

  • An initial analysis from Climate Central shows in some areas affected by this heat wave, climate change has likely made record-breaking temperatures at least 5x more likely than in a world without added amounts of heat-trapping greenhouse gasses.
  • Recent research has shown some deadly extreme heat events were virtually "impossible" without climate change.

Of note: If you need, you can visit one of the hundreds of cooling centers, respite centers and hydration stations across the Valley.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include details of the temperature at Sky Harbor International Airport.

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