PHOENIX - Officials with the National Weather Service say Phoenix has tied a high temperature record that was set in 1974.
According to a tweet, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport hit 115°F during the afternoon hours.
This record-tying heat comes as an Excessive Heat Warning has been issued for various parts of Arizona.
"It is kind of early to see temperatures this high, that’s for sure," said Marvin Percha, senior forecaster at the weather service’s Phoenix office.
Percha said the high pressure dome combined with the land’s lack of moisture caused by extreme drought has combined to create blistering heat expected throughout the entire week.
"What is unusual is the strength and the duration" of the high pressure system, he said.
Some still braving the heat on Valley trails
Despite the excessive heat, there are still people who laced up their hiking shoes and hit the trail.
Almost every day after work, Quinton Moran hikes Piestewa Peak, and June 15 was no different.
"I drink water, but then, I have been doing this for six years, and it's just practice," said Moran.
For Lee Benson, the heat did not derail his weekly Tuesday hike with his buddy.
"As it gets a little hotter, sometimes I wear a neck gaiter or sleeves, and you pour water on it and it evaporates, and you stay cook, but it's all about the burn," said Benson.
Phoenix Fire Department officials did not stop people from hitting the trails, but they say people should remain hydrated, have snacks, shaded hat, and a charged cell phone. They are also recommending people to go out early in the morning or later in the day to avoid injuries.
Other parts of Western U.S. also dealing with extreme heat
Arizona is not the only state in the Western part of the United States to deal with extreme heat.
The excessive heat stretched from southeast California across Arizona and Nevada and into New Mexico, where a high of 103°F Monday at Albuquerque’s airport set a record. It was expected to hit near that Tuesday.
For the second day in a row, Salt Lake City set a heat record, hitting 105°F Tuesday, according to the weather service. That also tied the all-time hottest temperature ever recorded in the month of June. On Monday, Utah’s capital reached 103°F to break a heat record for that date set nearly 50 years ago.
Temperatures in the Las Vegas area also were rising toward possible records during what the weather service was calling the hottest spell in decades.
"It’s just going up from here," said meteorologist Ashley Nickerson of the weather service’s Las Vegas office.
Tuesday’s high temperature at Las Vegas’ McCarron International Airport was expected to reach 113°F.
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.
Satellite and radar image
Preventing heat exhaustion/heat stroke
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
Driving in extreme temperatures
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.
- Call 511 anywhere in Arizona or 1-888-411-ROAD (7623)
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