Phoenix, the largest city in Arizona, recently achieved a new temperature record, with the thermometer soaring to a scorching 110 degrees Fahrenheit for an uninterrupted 54-day period.
The scalding summer of 2023 witnessed an unprecedented heatwave that extended from Texas through New Mexico and Arizona, reaching into California’s arid regions. Among the cities that bore the brunt of this blistering weather was the capital of the Grand Canyon State.
Salerno reported that Phoenix has just experienced its hottest three months on record, dating back to 1895. This period included the hottest July and the second-hottest August ever recorded.
The average daily temperature for June, July, and August was 97 degrees Fahrenheit, surpassing the previous record of 96.7 degrees Fahrenheit set just three years ago. Specifically, July saw an average daily temperature of 102.7 degrees Fahrenheit, while August averaged 98.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
In July, Phoenix also established a record with a scorching 31-day streak of high temperatures at or above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, surpassing the previous record of 18 consecutive days set in 1974.
Globally, the past month marked the hottest August ever recorded, as confirmed by the World Meteorological Organization. It was also the second hottest month ever recorded, with only July 2023 surpassing it. Scientists attribute this extreme heat to human-induced climate change, exacerbated by a natural El Niño event, a temporary warming of parts of the Pacific Ocean that impacts global weather patterns.
As of Saturday, Phoenix has experienced 104 days this year with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is in line with the annual average of 111 triple-digit days between 1991 and 2020.
Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and is Arizona’s most populous county, is on track to set a record for heat-related deaths this year. Health officials in the county have confirmed 194 heat-associated deaths as of September 2nd, with an additional 351 cases under investigation. In 2022, Maricopa County recorded 425 heat-related deaths.
A video shared on social media depicts an Arizona resident, Heidi Lavon, resorting to extreme measures to beat the heat. The footage shows her being sprayed with a high-powered hose while enduring the sweltering temperatures. She humorously commented on the weather’s impact in the area, stating, “Why is everyone so pressed about the weather here?”
In a related event, rapper 50 Cent postponed his Phoenix, Arizona concert in August due to “dangerous” temperatures. An excessive heat warning predicted a high of 116 degrees Fahrenheit, prompting the postponement. 50 Cent assured fans of a rescheduled show and encouraged those seeking refunds to contact the point of purchase.
The Earth has experienced its hottest Northern Hemisphere summer ever recorded, culminating in an August that shattered temperature records, as reported by the World Meteorological Organization. August was not only the hottest August ever recorded, but it also ranked as the second hottest month on record, trailing only July 2023. This surge in temperatures pushed August approximately 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial averages, a concerning threshold for long-term climate trends.
Furthermore, the world’s oceans, covering over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, reached their highest recorded temperatures, nearing 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit, marking three consecutive months of record warmth, as noted by the WMO and Copernicus.
In response to these alarming temperature trends, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized the severity of climate change, stating, “The dog days of summer are not just barking, they are biting. Climate breakdown has begun.”