Aug 21, 2019

Phoenix sees back-to-back record-breaking heat on Wednesday with a high of 114 degrees

Phoenix, AZ
Perry Vandell and Ian James
AZ Central

Phoenix broke a high-temperature record for the third time in 2019 on Wednesday after breaking a record on Tuesday as well.

But while Tuesday's record was broken by 1 degree — 113 degrees over the previous record of 112 degrees in 1986 — Wednesday shattered its previous record of 110 degrees in 2007 with a recorded high of 114 degrees.


Data shows rising temps linked to climate change

High-temperature records have been broken with increasing frequency in the past couple of decades, a trend that’s become apparent in many places and is linked to human-caused climate change.

National Weather Service data for Phoenix shows that of the 92 days in the summer months from June through August, 43 of their high-temperature records occurred since 2000, compared with 25 records during the previous two decades.

There have also been long-term increases in average daily highs and average nighttime lows during summers in Phoenix. According to National Weather Service data, the average summertime temperatures in the city have increased from 93.6 degrees during the decade 1999-2008 to more than 94.4 degrees during the past 10 years — an increase of more than 0.8 degrees.

Number of summertime Phoenix heat records set per decade

During summers this decade, more than 33 records for daily high temps in Phoenix have been set, significantly more than in previous decades. In addition, records for high minimum temps have been set more than 44 times since 2010. 

“There’s no doubt climate change is happening. We see this reflected in the temperature records. It’s getting warmer. Our heat season is getting warmer,” said Paul Iñiguez, science and operations officer at the National Weather Service in Phoenix. “We have warmer temperatures coming earlier in the season, warmer temperatures staying later in the season. Part of it is certainly the changing climate.”