Share this story...
Latest News

Early heat warnings are reason for caution, not alarm

PHOENIX — Parts of Arizona are under an excessive heat warning Friday as temperatures are expected to top 110 degrees.
But does it mean we’re in store for a long, oppressive summer?

“I would say (this heat) is exceptional but it’s not exceptional,” said Ken Waters with the National Weather Service in Phoenix.

“It’s exceptional because we’re suddenly breaking records, but you can find a few days every year in May and June where the temperatures go way, way up.”

“It’s a tough time of the year for 112 degrees, as the monsoon hasn’t arrived to cool things down.
It’s just a dry season with very little chance of precipitation,” Waters said.

“So it’s not uncommon to have a couple days like this.”

Heat warnings will be in effect from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and include the Phoenix area, Yuma, Florence, Casa Grande, Wickenburg and Quartzsite.

Phoenix is expected to reach 112 degrees on Friday. Parker should hit a whopping 114 degrees.

The hot temperatures will make heat stroke more likely for those doing anything strenuous outdoors and can be dangerous for the elderly who don’t have air conditioning.

In collaboration with health officials with Maricopa County and the State of Arizona, the National Weather Service has found a unique trend.

Demographically, longtime Arizonans make up the largest percentage of heat-related deaths.

“It’s contrary to what you might expect,” Waters said. “You’d be thinking a newcomer who’s not used to the heat, but many of these (heat victims) have been here 20, 30 or 40 years.”

It’s tough to say why.

“I think the jury’s still out,” Waters said. “We’ve speculated that it’s the mentality that ‘I’ve been here many years, I’m familiar with it and the heat doesn’t bother me.’ Very similar to what we hear (from longtime coastal residents staying put) during hurricanes.”

People are urged to limit outdoor activity and dress for the heat.