Record heat to extend after weekend of triple-digit temperatures


Heat kills more people each year than other weather hazards. Heat waves can be more threatening the longer they last, because stress builds up over time when people can’t find adequate respite.

This week could be particularly dangerous for communities like Phoenix, which could experience the hottest seven-day streak in its history. according to the National Weather Service. The city, along with its surrounding suburbs in Maricopa County, Arizona, recorded 425 heat-associated deaths last year.

Sunday marked the 17th straight day that Phoenix’s high temperatures reached or exceeded 110.

“We are currently on track to break the all-time consecutive streak of 110 degree days. Currently that record is 18 days,” said Gabriel Lojero, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix. “We forecast temperatures to be near or above 115 this week, so we are likely to break that record.”

Lojero said he worries about people who don’t have shelter or don’t have easy access to air conditioning.

“There is no relief. It’s a cumulative issue,” she said. «Your body is not capable of recovering.»

Lojero said nothing in the forecast suggested Phoenix would get a break from the heat any time soon. High temperatures were expected to continue through the coming weekend and there were no signs of thunderstorms, which are typical of the summer monsoon season in the southwestern desert.

“In the monsoon season, we usually have thunderstorm activity. You get more cloudiness and rain. That helps mitigate those extreme temperatures,” Lojero said. «Unfortunately, at least for the next week, we’re not seeing that.»

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