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Old 09-01-2007, 03:38 PM
 
Location: East Central Phoenix
6,714 posts, read 9,821,151 times
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Yesterday marked Phoenix's 31st day this year with high temperatures at 110 degrees or higher. That shatters the old record of 28 days set in 1970, and tied in 2002. The average number of days in a single year with 110 degree + highs is only ten.

I am convinced that part of the reason for the excessive heat is the urban heat island effect, which is created by an increased amount of urban sprawl. There is sufficient evidence that this heat island is responsible for increased night time temperatures in the Phoenix metro area. Higher low temps also have a tendency to push afternoon high temperatuers upward. It also could be the reason why fewer summer storms hit the Phoenix area these days.

Those of you who are thinking about moving to the Phoenix area for the climate, I have one piece of advice: PLEASE RECONSIDER! The sprawling growth thanks to the surge in transplants is making this place hotter, and possibly even drier. We natives liked it fine many years ago when Phoenix was a smaller, friendlier city and summer evenings were relatively pleasant. If you like dry heat so much, turn on your oven!
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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Thanks for rubbing it in! You are right Valley Native, this heat in Phoenix truly is sick! This town really is starting to become a miserable place. Why can't Phoenix be more like Tucson, which is often 20 degrees cooler this time of year with some nice cloud cover and rain? Not only is the number of 110+ days a record now, but during the winter months, which are supposedly the nice part of the year, for the last two years at least, the amount of pollution has been absolutely disgusting, making it hard to enjoy. I wonder what climatologists have to say about this. The idea that the urban heat island can affect the weather sounds interesting, but is there real science to back that claim up? Do you think there's a possibility that the heat wave this year might be a natural chaotic cycle? After all, there's really no such thing as an "average" year when you're talking about the desert-- there are fluctuations from year to year. Either way, I am really starting to think I do NOT want to live here much longer.
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Old 09-02-2007, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
11,878 posts, read 34,565,101 times
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There's a definite truth to the heat island effect. I'm sure if you google it there are solid stats to back it up. It's well known and the weather people out here in Texas are always talking about it in the evening newscasts. It's because of all the concrete, asphalt, steel, and glass in the city. It doesn't cool down like it does in the country. The weather folks are always citing this when they talk about highs and lows for DFW and the general vicinity.

Here's something on wikipedia.

Urban heat island - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/43/Newyork_heat_island.jpg (broken link)
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Phoenix setting a heat record is like International Falls, MN, setting a cold record.

The coldest year on record in Phoenix would still be too hot for me. And I'm writing this from central Texas. I don't know why anyone would want to live in a toaster oven, but I guess that's part of being human. We don't find beauty in the same people or locations, thus we have increased harmony thanks to our ability to go for different spouses and different locations. Vive le diference!
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:32 AM
 
458 posts, read 714,339 times
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The urban heat island effect is very evident in the Phoenix Metro area. I have studied data in towns surrounding Phoenix but outside the heat island and they have shown very little change over the past 50 years some actually decreasing over that time, while Phoenix has increased 3 or 4 degrees.
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Old 09-02-2007, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
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Phoenix is hot? No way.

I know, I was there in June when it was 116 degrees. Whoever says that ultra hot dry-heat is better than lower heat and high humidity is insane. I came back to IL to upper 80s and 50% humidity and I felt cold. 31 days of 110+ is ludicrous, why anyone would subject themselves to that is beyond my comprehension.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:47 PM
 
Location: East Central Phoenix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
during the winter months, which are supposedly the nice part of the year, for the last two years at least, the amount of pollution has been absolutely disgusting, making it hard to enjoy.
That's due to the lack of rainfall during most of the last TEN winters. In fact, in the past ten years, only the winters of 1997-1998 and 2004-2005 had above normal precipitation. Every other winter has been abnormally dry. While the summer monsoon usually brings in a fair share of rain, it's the winter months (December through March) which are normally the rainiest in Phoenix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
I wonder what climatologists have to say about this.
I don't know what the climatologists are saying, but the so called meteorologists on the news channels always say, "another beautiful sunny day", "lookin' good", etc. They really know very little about climatology. If they were true meteorologists, they would know that the smog (or "brown cloud" as it's called) is WORSE when there's below normal rainfall. But I guess as long as it's sunny every damn day, most people couldn't care less about the pollution or the drought. Idiots!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
Do you think there's a possibility that the heat wave this year might be a natural chaotic cycle?
It's highly possible because the entire region has experienced above normal temps and below normal rainfall this summer. The problem with Phoenix, however, is that it IS hotter at night because of the urban heat island effect ... and hotter nights have a way of pushing daytime temps higher as well. That could explain the 32 days of 110 highs this year. Even during our hottest years in the past, it NEVER was this hot for so many days during a summer.

And yes, September 1st marked the 32nd day of 110 or more this year ... and today possibly could be the 33rd day being that the current temperature is 109, and the official high hasn't been recorded yet.
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:58 AM
 
Location: Seattle area
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I can't see 31 days over 110 degrees. I see just 7 days
Monthly Weather Forecast for Phoenix, AZ - weather.com
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:48 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
11,878 posts, read 34,565,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botev1912 View Post
I can't see 31 days over 110 degrees. I see just 7 days
Monthly Weather Forecast for Phoenix, AZ - weather.com
The record is not for consecutive days, it's all of the days this year if I understand it correctly.
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,231 posts, read 3,533,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valley Native View Post
I don't know what the climatologists are saying, but the so called meteorologists on the news channels always say, "another beautiful sunny day", "lookin' good", etc.
If I lived in Phoenix and I saw that on the local forecast, I'd probably shoot my TV.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valley Native View Post
The problem with Phoenix, however, is that it IS hotter at night because of the urban heat island effect ... and hotter nights have a way of pushing daytime temps higher as well.
Humidity is much higher now because of irrigation, which helps explain warmer nights but not warmer days.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valley Native View Post
That could explain the 32 days of 110 highs this year. Even during our hottest years in the past, it NEVER was this hot for so many days during a summer.
One thing to keep in mind is that weather records around the world only go back about 120 years, so we should expect that there will be records shattered every year in many places simply by chance. While I embrace the general theory of global warming, the heat island effect, and the humidity effect, I don't think one can ever say that any single statistic means anything in the grand scheme of things.

But I've got one question for people living in Phoenix --- can you seriously say that it's not too hot every summer? It's a freaking low desert with average highs over 100 for a couple months out of the year. Add a few degrees and what do you get? More Phoenix. So... if ya chose to live there, then ya gotta look at your decision process.
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