A 31-year-old record melted away on Wednesday as relentless triple-digit heat continued to scorch Phoenix, Arizona, for the 144th day this year. The previous record for the most 100-degree days in a year was set in 1989 with 143 days in total.
When the mercury climbed above 100 F once again Friday afternoon, the record continued to climb to an astonishing 145 days in Phoenix. Climbing to a high of 102 F during the afternoon, this also broke the previous daily high temperature record of 101 degrees set back in 1991.
The city could tack on a few more days to the already impressive record with high temperatures in the upper 90s to lower 100s in the forecast across the major metro areas of the Desert Southwest into early week. However, time is ticking for more 100-degree days in the city. The latest that Phoenix has ever recorded a high of 100 F was on Oct. 27.
In a given year, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the official climate station for the city of Phoenix, typically averages about 102 days where the high temperature equals or exceeds 100 degrees.
The worst of the heat arrived for many across the Desert Southwest this past Tuesday, while the arrival of the worst heat for cities like San Francisco and Redding, California, was delayed until after midweek.
Unseasonably warm conditions are expected throughout most of the southwestern U.S. into early week. However, the Desert Southwest will be in the crosshairs for the truly sizzling temperatures.
The hottest conditions will bake portions of southern Arizona, southern Nevada and inland areas of Southern California. In these areas, daytime high temperatures will generally climb 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit above normal levels for the middle of October.
Typical high temperatures across the Desert Southwest range from the lower 80s in cities such as Las Vegas to near 90 in cities such as Phoenix and Palm Springs, California, to the middle 90s in Death Valley, California.
Heat of this level will act to increase the risk for heat-related illnesses, especially for the most vulnerable populations. Residents across the Southwest should drink plenty of water and try to limit any outdoor activity to the morning or evening hours to avoid peak heating.
Fortunately, despite the hot and continued dry conditions, there are no high wind events in the near-term that may increase the fire danger across the region.
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