Phoenix, Arizona, suffers from relentless heat as global warming sparks blistering temperatures, setting new records. It has become the furnace of the nation, enduring a relentless 31-day heatwave with temperatures surpassing 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The Valley of the Sun has shattered its previous record of 18 consecutive days of extreme heat set back in 1974, signaling the severity of the ongoing climate crisis.
Despite hopes for relief, Monday’s expectations of monsoon rains from Mexico didn’t bring the expected cool down. The forecast predicted a high near 108°F, with the relentless heat expected to push past 110°F later in the week.
Meteorologist Matthew Hirsch from the National Weather Service in Phoenix warned, “While it may be cooler than the peak days, it’s still significantly warmer than normal. The heat can still affect a large portion of the population, so we urge everyone to stay hydrated and limit outdoor activities.”
Phoenix has been forced to cancel numerous outdoor events due to the extreme conditions. The city has experienced multiple days where temperatures reached a scorching 119°F, and overnight lows have stayed above 90°F for half of the month.
July saw at least 25 heat-related deaths in Maricopa County, where Phoenix is located, and an additional 249 deaths are under investigation for potential connections to the heatwave.
Meteorologist Hirsch cautioned that August could bring even higher temperatures than those experienced in July, indicating the situation is far from over.
Adding to the searing conditions, Phoenix’s population has steadily grown since 1990, ballooning from approximately 2 million to nearly 5 million, as people seek areas with more affordable housing.
Experts assert that this population increase has exacerbated the heat conditions as urbanization expands and creates an urban heat island effect, further intensifying the city’s scorching temperatures.
As climate change and urban expansion collide, Phoenix is feeling the brunt of the consequences, serving as a stark warning of the urgent need for climate action.
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