Aug 15, 2023 - Climate

How newcomers handle the Phoenix heat

Animated illustration of a sun with a question mark in the middle, warped by heat distortion.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Almost 200,000 people have moved to Maricopa County since 2020, per the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • That means many of our neighbors are still new to extreme heat living.

Zoom in: We wanted to hear how our new arrivals were faring and if any are questioning their move to the Valley of the Sun.

  • Here's what you said:

😄 Rosa A. is living through her first Arizona summer after moving from California to Sun City earlier this year to be close to her daughter. She said she didn't appreciate the extremity of the heat when she decided to move, but she's sticking with her choice.

  • "Yes, the heat is more than what I expected, but I'm here to stay, so I'm going to make peace with the malls that are air-conditioned and the recreation centers that have air conditioning and have swimming pools," she said.

😯 Anna B. moved her family to Scottsdale from coastal Maine last month for a job opportunity. She was shocked by the heat, saying it felt like "walking into an oven … and never getting out." But, she's not regretting the move and is taking short walks at night to acclimate.

  • "On the plus side, it's really nice to not have any humidity! The East Coast humidity is gross, even when you have an ocean to cool off in,'" she said.

🫤 Debbie E. moved to Buckeye from New Jersey in 2018 to fulfill her husband's retirement dream of living in the Valley. While he's loving his golden years in the sizzling sun, she's pining for a return to coastal temperatures.

  • "Every year I hate it here more than the previous year. I would move back to New Jersey in a heartbeat!" she said.

ğŸ‘Ž David B. and his wife moved to Phoenix in 2018 to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren. They'd spent most of their lives in small-town Illinois, and this summer's "absolutely brutal" heat, coupled with skyrocketing prices, have them considering a move back to cooler climates.

  • "This place is certainly not for the middle class, and I won't miss it a bit when we're gone," he said.
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