June 15, 2024

Phoenix Hits 110 For 19th Straight Day, Breaking Big US City Records In Global Heat Wave

PHOENIX (AP) – A dangerous 19th straight day of scorching heat in Phoenix set for US cities on Tuesday, confining many residents to the safety of air conditioning and turning the normally bustling city into a ghost town.

The city’s record streak of 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 Celsius) or more stood out even amid sweltering temperatures around the globe. It reached 117 degrees (47.2 Celsius) by 3 pm

Caused by the person climate change and a newly formed El Nino coming together Shatter heat records around the worldsay scientists.

No other major city — defined as the 25 most populous in the United States — had a longer stretch of 110-degree days (43.3 degrees) or 90-degree nights (32.2 degrees) than Phoenix, weather historian Christopher Burt said. of. the Weather Company.

“When millions of people are subjected to that kind of thermal abuse, there are impacts,” said Russell Vose, Director of NOAA’s Climate Analysis Group, who chairs the national records committee.

For Phoenix, it’s not just the brutal highs of the day that are deadly. Lack of cooling at night can rob people without access to air conditioning of the break their bodies need to function properly.

With Tuesday’s low of 94 F (34.4 C), the city had nine straight days where temperatures did not drop below 90 F (32.2 C) at night, breaking another record, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Salerno, which is called “pretty bad when you have no recovery overnight.”

On Monday, the city also set a record for the warmest overnight low temperature: 95 F (35 C). During the day, the heat increased so quickly that the city hit the 110 mark a few minutes before noon.

Dog parks were canceled mid-morning and afternoon and other outdoor events were canceled to protect performers and attendees. During the weekend the city’s Desert Botanical Garden, a large outdoor collection of cactus and other desert plants, started shutting down at 2 pm before the hottest part of the day.

In the hours before the new record was set, rivers of sweat streamed down the sunburnt face of Lori Miccichi, 38, as she pushed a shopping cart full of her belongings through downtown Phoenix, looking for a place to escape the heat.

“I’ve been out here for a long time and I’ve been homeless for about three years,” Miccichi said. “When it’s like this, all you have to do is go into the shade. Last week was the hottest I can remember.”

About 200 cooling and hydration centers are set up across the metro area, but most were closed between 4 pm and 7 pm due to staffing and funding issues.

The entire universe is simmering to record heat alike June and July. Almost every day of this month, the global average temperature it was warmer than the unofficial hottest day recorded before 2023, according to the University of Maine Climate Reanalyst. US weather stations have broken more than 860 heat records in the past seven days, according to NOAA.

Rome reached a record high of 109 (42.9 degrees Celsius), while record heat was reported across Italy, France, Spain and parts of China. Catalonia broke records reaching 113 (45 Celsius), according to world weather record keeper Maximiliano Herrera.

And if that’s not enough, smoke oh wild fires, flood and dry up caused problems world.

In addition to Phoenix, Vose and others found less populated places such as Death Valley and Needles, California; and Casa Grande, Arizona, with a longer hot streak, but none of them are in places where many people live. Death Valley had an 84-day streak of 110-degree temperatures.

The last time Phoenix didn’t reach 110 F (43.3 C) was June 29, when it hit 108 (42.2 C). The record of 18 days over 110 tied on a Monday was first set in 1974.

“This is probably going to be one of the most significant periods in our health record in terms of deaths and illnesses,” said David Hondula, the city’s chief heat officer. “Our goal is that this will not be the case.”

City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation workers Joseph Garcia, 48, and Roy Galindo, 28, tried to stay cool while trimming bushes. They work from 5 am to 1:30 pm to avoid the hottest time of the day.

“It gets really hot here and sometimes we have to take care of the public,” Galindo said, adding that sometimes he gets people passing out on the grass. “Many of these people don’t drink water.”

Retired Phoenix firefighter Mark Bracy, who has lived in the city for most of his 68 years, went on a two-hour climb Tuesday morning, up and down Piestewa Peak, which is 2,610 feet (796 meters) high.

“I’ve been going up there regularly since I was in the Cub Scouts, but it wasn’t as hot then,” Bracy said. “We’ve had hot spells before, but nothing like this.”

Dr. Erik Mattison, director of the emergency department at Dignity Health Chandler Regional Medical Center in metro Phoenix, a man in his 60s who was brought in last week with a core body temperature of 110 degrees (43.3 C).

“Heat makes people sick. People die from the heat,” Mattison said.

“And it’s not just the elderly,” he said. “We’ve seen professional athletes get sick in the heat during training camp.”

The Phoenix heat wave has both long-term and short-term causes, said Randy Cerveny of Arizona State University, who coordinates the verification of weather records for the World Meteorological Organization.

Long-term high temperatures in recent years are due to human activity, he said, while the short-term cause is high pressure over the western United States.

That high pressure, also known as a heat dome, has been cooking around the Southwest for weeks. When it moved, it moved to be more focused on Phoenix, National Weather Service meteorologist Isaac Smith said.

Southwestern high pressure not only brings the heat, it also prevents cooling rain and clouds from bringing relief, Smith said. Typically, the Southwest monsoon season begins around June 15 with rain and clouds. But Phoenix hasn’t had measurable rain since mid-March.

“This heat wave is intense and unrelenting,” said Katharine Jacobs, director of the organization Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions at the University of Arizona. “Unfortunately, it’s a sign of things to come.”

Continue AP’s climate and environmental coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment

Borenstein reported from Washington. Follow Seth Borenstein and Anita Snow on Twitter at @borenbears and @asnowreports

Associated Press climate and environmental coverage is supported by several private foundations. See more about the AP climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all matters.

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