Jul 26, 2023 - Climate

Phoenix heat wave is shattering temperature records

A man pouring water over his head.

Dee Lee, 34, cools off July 16 in Phoenix. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

This month has been historically hot in more ways than one.

By the numbers: We're in the midst of three record-breaking (or near record-breaking) streaks:

  • Consecutive days with high temperatures of 110° or greater: We are at 26 days, shattering the previous streak of 18 days recorded in June 1974. And we're likely to keep expanding this record at least through the weekend.
  • Consecutive days with low temperatures of 90° or greater: We hit 16 days Tuesday. The previous record was seven days in summer 2020.
  • Consecutive days without precipitation: It's been 125 days without rainfall, which ties for the fourth-longest rainless streak.

What's next: Phoenix will likely become the first major U.S. city to reach an average monthly temperature higher than 100°.

  • As of Tuesday, the average temperature was 102.8°, and National Weather Service meteorologist Isaac Smith told Axios Phoenix we’re unlikely to drop that average significantly before July's end.

1 hopeful thing: NWS is forecasting an increased chance of rain this weekend and early next week, which should bring our high temperature below 110° by Monday.

Between the lines: The record-breaking deadly heat in Arizona and around the world this summer would have been "virtually impossible" in a world without human-driven climate change, according to new data published Tuesday.


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