Excessive Heat Warning continues throughout Arizona; Valley ties high temperature record for August 3

The National Weather Service has extended an Excessive Heat Warning for the Phoenix metropolitan area and other parts of south-central Arizona until August 4 as the state has seen record-breaking temperatures.

The warning affects portions of the following counties:

  • Cochise and Santa Cruz from July 29, 10 a.m. to July 30, 8 p.m.
  • Graham, Greenlee, and Pima from July 29, 10 a.m. to August 1, 8 p.m.
  • Gila, La Paz, and Yuma from July 29, 10 a.m. to August 3, 8 p.m.
  • Coconino, Maricopa, Mohave, Pinal, and Yavapai from July 29, 10 a.m. to August 4, 8 p.m.

NWS: Valley ties temperature record for August 3

On August 3, officials with the National Weather Service say Phoenix Sky Harbor reached 114°F during a part of the afternoon, which tied a record that was first set in 1975, and subsequently tied in 2009 and 2019.

Temperature records broken

The tying of record temperature on August 3 followed a number of day with record-breaking heat.

On July 31, National Weather Service officials say the Valley reached 116°F during a portion of the afternoon, breaking the old record of 115°F that was set back in 1972, 1986 and 1996.

On July 30, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport recorded a temperature of 115°F, breaking a previous record set in 1934. The Valey also tied a record set in 1995 on July 29.

NWS: July 2020 "hottest month on record"

The National Weather Service now says that July 2020 is the hottest month on record for Phoenix with an average temperature of 99°F, breaking the old record set in July 2009.

The Arizona Department of Health Services stated the following precautions can be taken to prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke:

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings
  • Limit outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day (mid-day)
  • Check on at-risk friends, family, and neighbors at least twice a day
  • Drink water before, during, and after working or exercising outside

The Arizona Department of Transportation’s tips for driving in extreme temperatures include: 

Have sun protection: In addition to an umbrella, take sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat and wear loose-fitting, light-colored cotton clothing.

Fuel up: Keep your tank at three-quarters full. Running out of gas, especially in a remote location, is dangerous in extreme heat.

Hydrate: Take a cooler to keep extra drinking water cold, and consider adding several frozen bottles of water to use for cooling off or to thaw and drink if needed. Make sure everyone, including pets, stays hydrated.

Get help: If your vehicle breaks down in extreme heat, call for assistance right away to reduce wait time, and run the AC. If the AC isn’t working, roll down all windows.

Wait safely: If the temperature inside your vehicle becomes too hot, everyone, including pets, should exit carefully and seek out or create a shaded area as far away from the travel lanes as possible. Be careful walking on the road surface, which can be hot enough to burn skin. Keep your shoes on and try to keep your pets’ paws off the pavement. If you are stopped along the highway, raise the front hood and turn on hazard lights. Please keep in mind that parking in tall brush can start a fire. 

Check your vehicle: You can help avoid breakdowns and blowouts by making sure your vehicle is in good operating condition. Check your air conditioner and coolant levels, top off any vital engine fluids and make sure your battery is up to par. Check your tire pressure, as the combination of under inflated tires and hot pavement can lead to a blowout.

MORE: https://azdot.gov/about/transportation-safety/severe-weather

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