July in Phoenix makes history as hottest month ever recorded in a US city

Aug 1, 2023, 10:02 AM

People walk through misters amid the city's worst heat wave on record on July 24, 2023 in Phoenix, ...

People walk through misters amid the city's worst heat wave on record on July 24, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The hottest month in Phoenix history is in the record books. And what a sizzling July it was.

Arizona’s largest city did more than set just a “personal record.” Phoenix actually endured the hottest month ever recorded in a U.S. city, according to the Arizona State Climate Office.

The average July temperature at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which the National Weather Service uses for the city’s official readings, was 102.7 degrees.

Phoenix knocked a fellow Arizona city out of the national top spot, surpassing Lake Havasu City’s mark of 102.2 degrees from July 1996.

August 2020 was Phoenix’s previous hottest month at 99.1 degrees.

Phoenix temperatures were far above normal in July

Sure, it’s always hot in Phoenix during the summer. But July’s persistent extreme heat went well beyond the typical seasonal conditions.

There wasn’t a single day where the temperature wasn’t above normal (based on 1991-2020 data). The average was a staggering 7.2 degrees above normal, according to Chris Kuhlman, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix.

“A lot of times we can have a month where it’s 2 or 3 degrees above normal, but to be 7 degrees is quite amazing,” Kuhlman told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday morning.

Here’s a closer look at Phoenix’s extreme July

When the mercury topped out at 108 degrees Monday, it was the only day in July that didn’t reach at least 110 degrees, ending a record 31-day streak that began June 30.

The old record was 18 consecutive days in June 1974.

“Not quite doubling it, but breaking it by 13 days is quite impressive, and we just didn’t have any cool days the entire month,” Kuhlman said.

It reached at least 115 degrees 17 times during July alone, setting a new mark for a full year. The old annual record for 115-degree days was 14 in 2020.

Phoenix set daily high temperature marks 12 times in July and had 16 days with record-warm low temperatures, according to the National Weather Service.

It’s a dry heat: Rainless streak continues

It was’t just hot in July. It was also bone dry.

Despite a few scattered thunderstorms across the Valley in the past week, including parts of Phoenix, Sky Harbor went the entire month without measurable rain.

That was nothing new, however. Monday was actually the 131st consecutive day without measurable rain at Phoenix’s official reading site.

The airport hasn’t seen precipitation since March 22, its longest dry spell since 2006 (143 days) and fourth longest ever.

The longest Phoenix rainless streak on record is 160 days in 1972. The current streak would have to last through the last day of August to break it.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.

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July in Phoenix makes history as hottest month ever recorded in a US city