Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Seems Bad

Near the beginning of the heat wave, a lot of people responded with various versions of "it's Phoenix, it gets hot." And, really, no. There is actually a tremendous difference between 111 and 115 degrees (in a way that there isn't between 91 and 95), and there's a tremendous difference between 115 degrees (high) for a day and 115 degrees high for a few weeks.

Surfaces never cool, AC systems strain from overuse, generally there is just no relief.

The point is Phoenix was long flirting with the line, and now it's starting to cross it.
Patients with heat stroke and burns from the asphalt are swamping hospitals. Air-conditioners are breaking down at homeless shelters. The medical examiner’s office is deploying trailer-sized coolers to store bodies, for the first time since the early days of Covid.

For 31 straight days — from the last day of June through Sunday, the second-to-last day of July — Phoenix has hit at least 110 degrees Fahrenheit, not merely breaking its 18-day record in 1974, but setting a significant new one. On Monday, the last day of July, the heat spell finally broke, if only by a few degrees: The temperature reached a high of 108 degrees. Storms offered a slight, temporary respite. The forecast called for 110-plus degree days to return later in the week.