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Hottest Weather So Far Lies Ahead for Phoenix


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Okay I know this is anecdotal, but I have lived in Phoenix for the last 28 years or so, and this year has simply not seemed that hot, compared to 1996 or 2020. I can remember being outside at 11 pm in 1996 late July and it was over 110F. And 2020 nearly killed all of the plants in my yard.

But this year I have cucumbers, okra, and some odd melon plant still growing in my garden. Granted I live on the outskirts of town at a slightly higher elevation than the Phoenix airport.

I think the anomalous high low temps at the airport are due to the urban heat island effect. The valley is much more paved than it was 20 years ago. 

So up here in the north valley, it's just another summer...

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Ok here's what is remarkable about this July. The 96.7F mean temperature is only 1.2 degrees F above the current 30-year average of 95.5F. That's probably why it has seemed "not so hot" to me, as I have only lived in Phoenix for about 30 years. Also interesting is the fact that the last 8 days have been below average temperature, so without the current cool spell, this July would have turned out much worse. And finally, the valley had 14 days of a trace or more of rain in the month - while Sky Harbor did not get much, Deer Valley, up by me got 1.73 inches for the month. So yes, this was a slightly warmer than normal month, but it has also been a little wetter than normal at my house.

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On 8/1/2022 at 10:46 AM, arizonasooner said:

Ok here's what is remarkable about this July. The 96.7F mean temperature is only 1.2 degrees F above the current 30-year average of 95.5F. That's probably why it has seemed "not so hot" to me, as I have only lived in Phoenix for about 30 years. Also interesting is the fact that the last 8 days have been below average temperature, so without the current cool spell, this July would have turned out much worse. And finally, the valley had 14 days of a trace or more of rain in the month - while Sky Harbor did not get much, Deer Valley, up by me got 1.73 inches for the month. So yes, this was a slightly warmer than normal month, but it has also been a little wetter than normal at my house.

The 1991-20 normal is up 0.7 degrees from the previous baseline. The monsoonal cooling knocked down the overall monthly mean. The first 22 and 23 days were actually the hottest such periods on record for July.

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The dumbest thing about these threads is that they never mention moisture. Our wettest Summers always prevent lows from collapsing overnight, and so they tend to not ever be super cold, even if the rain is excessive and frequent. Average temperature in the SW behaves like a pyramid, with the heat apex and cool morning low floor occurring often as a single 5 minute period, rather than places like New York or Chicago where temperature values are much more curved rather than triangle like at the floor and peaks. If you actually spent a moment outside you would know this. Warming the lowest daily temperature that occurs five minutes a day by five degrees and then bitching about global warming in that area in comparison to New York or Chicago where the lowest low and highest high of the day occur for hours is always going to make it seem like things are way worse out here than they really are. If you were to measure lows an hour after sunrise globally and use that as the low, I'd imagine you'd have far less global warming in the deserts of the world than the ocean driven climates like the Northeast.

The giant purple area for a 60 period never seems to get any attention even though it's way more impressive than some ****ing +2 anomaly in a period of global warming. The danger of the heat in the Southwest to people is always during the day, and Phoenix is not particularly close to record heat in that sense, even though it's much warmer with the lows included. It's a 107F v. 105.5F median thing for 2022 v. the 1931-2021 median for the 6/9-8/7 period, and the lows, while annoying, are not actually dangerous to humans directly.

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While I acknowledge the explanation about how the daily temperature curve differs in Phoenix vs. Chicago (which is interesting and makes sense), the high overnight temps in the heat island of Phoenix metro have a huge impact on those who are more vulnerable.  The body doesn't have a chance to recover when there is a prolonged stretch of very warm nights; it's not just the hot afternoons that are dangerous for humans.

In Chicago's 1995 heat wave, I believe studies showed that many of the 700+ deaths occurred because there was no relief at night.     

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