Sunday May 18, 2008 - Summer is here!


Valley temps hits 100 for first time in 2008

by John Faherty - May. 18, 2008 01:23 PM

The Arizona Republic

Forget what the calendar says, summer is now officially here.

The temperature hit 100 degrees at Sky Harbor International Airport at exactly 12:39 p.m. this afternoon.

That was the first triple-degree temperature of the year.

And actually, it came a little bit later then usual. National Weather Service records show that over the past 30 years, the first 100-degree day has occurred, on average, by May 1.

That's the exciting news. The rough news is that the mercury is going to keep on rising.

The forecasted high for Monday and Tuesday is 107 degrees. That would be a record.


May 18, 2008 - 11:13PM

Heat could soar to 109 degrees today

Mike Branom, Tribune

2008's first triple-digit temperature was late in getting here, but making up for it is the heat's intensity.

Summer informally arrived at 12:39 p.m. Sunday, when the Valley's official thermometer reached 100 degrees. More than three hours later, the temperature maxed out at 105 - 11 degrees above normal but two degrees shy of the day's record.

Around the East Valley, airports in Chandler, Scottsdale and Mesa (Williams Gateway) reported highs of 102.

And the National Weather Service expects this belated heat wave to strengthen. The forecast highs for today and Tuesday are 108 and 109, respectively, which would break the previous daily records by three degrees.

In preparation, the Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for today and a watch for Tuesday. The latter will likely be upgraded to a warning, the forecasters acknowledged.

According to the agency's climate records for Phoenix, which go back to 1985, the first 100-degree reading was five days later than usual. When considering only the last 30 years, to account for the Valley's urban sprawl, on average the first 100-degree day was May 1.

In fact, this is the latest debut of 100 degrees since 1999, and the fourth-latest in the last 25 years.

What's to explain why the heat came so late?

"Normal climatological cycles," Weather Service meteorologist Mike Bruce said Sunday afternoon.

In other words, this is nothing but the vagaries of weather.

As Bruce noted, the temperature reached 99 on April 29. No, 99 degrees is not 100, but looking deeply at the difference "is trying to split hairs," he said.

If Phoenix's historic average holds up, with three straight days of triple-digit highs this would mean Valley residents will endure just another 107 days of 100-degree temperatures this year.

But in the short term, relief is on the way.

A powerful storm system is forecast to dive across the West, and predictions call for it to drastically turn down the heat and turn up the wind.

"Being May, the chances of any widespread precipitation are still pretty slim," Bruce said. "But we could see isolated storms in the mountains, as we saw this past week."

Thursday, an unseasonable thunderstorm rolled out of the high country to the Valley's northeast and rumbled through Apache Junction, east Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Chandler and beyond. The whipping winds knocked out power and raised a wall of dust that limited visibility to nearly nothing.

That weather system also dropped 11 inches of snow at Sunset Crater near Flagstaff. The forecast calls for a chance of snow showers in Arizona's highest elevations from Wednesday through Friday.

Back in the Valley, the highs on Thursday through Saturday will drop into the upper 80s.


Dangerous heat, pollution advisories continue

Sarah Walters - May. 20, 2008 07:51 AM 12 News Weather Plus Meteorologist

Dangerous heat continues in Arizona today, as temperatures soar well above normal, and break records once again. Because of that extreme heat, there is an Excessive Heat Warning (what the hell is an Excessive Heat Warning???) for parts of Maricopa, Pinal, Yuma, La Paz, and Mohave Counties today, with the peak hours of the worst heat lasting from 10 a.m. .hrough 8 p.m.

It’s best to limit outdoor activities during those peak hours, by getting those outdoor activities done early in the morning or late in the evening. Be sure to stay out of the sun, and drink lots of water.

There’s also a High Pollution Advisory today for the Phoenix metro area. Be sure to take it easy today, if you are sensitive to ozone. You can help out the air quality today, by taking an alternative form of transportation, such as carpooling, vanpooling, or taking the bus.

A strong area of high pressure has been in control of our weather in the West, but will soon lose its grip. That high begins to break down tomorrow, as a strong Pacific storm moves eastward. That storm is already bringing strong winds to northwest Arizona, where we have Red Flag Warnings for parts of Coconino, Yavapai, and Mohave Counties from 1pm through this evening because of an increased fire danger. Winds will get stronger for the entire state on Wednesday, as that storm moves into the West, therefore, a Fire Weather Watch is in effect for southern Arizona, including the Valley. By Thursday and Friday, that storm brings a chance of storms and much cooler temperatures, as highs are only expected to warm into the 80s.

To get the current conditions and forecast to your city, go to 12 News Weather Plus on Cox Digital Cable 83, Qwest Choice TV 66, over the air 12.2, or on

12 News Weather Plus Valley Forecast:

An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect for the Valley Tuesday with the most dangerous hours being 10am through 8pm. Record-breaking temperatures are expected again, ranging from 103-108. There’s also a High Pollution Advisory today for ozone.

12 News Weather Plus Forecast Temperatures for the state:

Phoenix 108/ 80
Tempe 108/ 78
Chandler 107/ 77
Mesa 108/ 78
Scottsdale 108/ 79
Gilbert 106/ 78
Apache Junction 106/ 76
Cave Creek 103/ 70
Surprise 107/ 74
Peoria 107/ 76
Glendale108/ 75
Avondale 106/ 74
Buckeye 108/ 76
Casa Grande 108/ 73
Flagstaff 82/ 42
Prescott 90/ 45
Payson 90/ 45
Show Low 89/ 43
Globe 98/ 50
Florence 106/ 77

And just 3 days later some freak almost never heard of rain!!!! And it is 30 degrees below normal!!! I hate cold weather!


May 22, 2008 - 9:36PM

Valley storm brings cool-down, rain and hail

Mike Branom, Tribune

The Valley under gray skies as a steady drizzle falls. Memorial Day vacationers heading to the Rim Country for some fun in the snow. A remarkably strong storm, perhaps historic, made for some wildly unseasonable weather across the state on Thursday.

Record-breaking rainfall, hail-dropping thunderstorms and temperatures about 30 degrees cooler than normal were reported in the Valley. In northern Arizona, snow fell in late May for only the ninth time in the last 110 years.

And this was only the beginning, meteorologists predicted. The forecast peak time for thunderstorms was 11 p.m. Wednesday through 11 a.m. today.

By the time this low-pressure system exits on Saturday, much of the Valley will have received about a half-inch of rain. In the high country, snow accumulations could reach 6 inches.

And all this just three days after Valley thermometers reached 110 degrees.

A storm of this magnitude would be notable if it arrived in January, weather experts said. But its presence in midspring is almost unheard of.

The National Weather Service’s office in Phoenix said this could be the most intense storm to strike Arizona during May.

Even if it isn’t historic, this weather is highly unusual; any rain falling today will be only the second time that May 23 has seen precipitation in Phoenix’s recorded history, which goes back to the 1880s.

Also, the meteorologists noted the Valley’s 30-year average for precipitation for the month is 0.16 inches. But this storm could dump in excess of an inch in parts of the Phoenix area.

A rain gauge in Queen Creek took in 0.71 inches by midafternoon Thursday.

At Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the Valley’s official station, 0.03 inches were recorded by 4 p.m. The record was 0.06 inches, set in 1919, but the weather service expected that to fall. Also, hail measuring a half-inch across was reported in south Chandler.

Meanwhile, the Valley’s official high temperature was 78 degrees — and that was recorded shortly after noon, right before the storm rolled in. At 2 p.m., the “high” was 64 degrees; the daily normal is 96.

Responsible for the weird weather is a large low-pressure system parked over the Southwest. This is the same storm that sparked damaging tornadoes in northern Colorado on Thursday morning.

It also brought gusts of 50 mph to west Texas, dropped 2 feet of snow on the mountains of Montana and created flash floods outside San Diego.

I got rained on Friday night and ended up sleeping in one of the ramadas. Then on Saturday morning it rained again but not as bad. Well at least it is humid and even if the temperature is cold with all the humidity it ain’t that cold.

According to the forecast it should be back up to 100°F in a few of days. Thank god I hate cold weather.


Holiday weather: Goodbye umbrellas, hello swimsuits by Beth Duckett - May. 24, 2008 08:32 AM

The Arizona Republic

Put away the umbrellas and break out the swimsuits.

Showers that pounded the Valley for three days are expected to taper off Saturday afternoon, opening the door to sunny skies this Memorial Day weekend and the rest of the week.

Forecast highs will be in the mid-80s Sunday and Monday, perfect for an outdoor barbecue or hitting the pool. Lows are expected to be in the low-60s. By Tuesday, a high-pressure system from the West could heat temperatures into the 90s. Forecasters predict the first triple-digits on Friday.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, where weather officially is gauged, logged .44 inches of rain Thursday through Saturday morning, about 5 percent of the annual total.

Saturday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 59. Wind between 5 and 8 mph becoming calm.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 85.


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