Jun 13, 2016

Southwest deserts will be scorching by the weekend

Phoenix, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Yuma, AZ
Bob Henson
Weather Underground
Image: NOAA / NWS / WPC
Image: NOAA / NWS / WPC

Some of the worst heat in many years could take shape this coming weekend in cities like Phoenix, Yuma, and Tucson, Arizona. Already this month, Phoenix has seen four consecutive record highs (6/3 through 6/7), including the earliest 115°F reading (6/4) since record-keeping began there in 1895. The coming week should bring only garden-variety heat to southern Arizona, which means daily highs within a few degrees of the century mark Fahrenheit, but high pressure building aloft will sharpen the heat dramatically by week’s end. As of Monday morning, the WU forecast for next Sunday, June 19, is calling for highs of 117°F in Phoenix, 116°F in Yuma, and 113°F in Tucson. If it verified, the Phoenix reading would be the warmest on record on any date prior to the summer solstice, and these temperatures are not too far from the all-time records of 122°F in Phoenix (June 26, 1990), 124°F in Yuma (July 28, 1995), and 117°F in Tucson (June 26, 1990). An excessive heat watch is already in effect for much of southwest Arizona and far southeast California, including the Phoenix area, for this coming Friday morning through Monday evening