Temperatures To Hit Record-Breaking Highs

February 13, 2014

(Photo courtesy of KJZZ file footage)
While the East Coast is dealing with a difficult winter, Arizona is basking in the sunny weather.

The East Coast is still digging out from a massive winter storm, but in Phoenix forecasters are calling for record heat through the weekend. Temperatures will approach 90 degrees on Saturday.

That is remarkable this time of year, even for Arizona. Forecasters predict Phoenix temperatures will be more than 15 degrees above normal. The National Weather Service’s Austin Jamison said it is no surprise. When a big storm moves one way, it tends to leave the opposite weather behind it.

"There’s often times a dichotomy like that in the winter time. The Western parts of the country can be quite warm, and then in the East it’s quite cold," said Jamison.

Jamison said this heat wave may pose a danger to people who are visiting Arizona from the frigid East Coast. People who are not used to dry heat in February can get sick if they exert themselves outside.

Look for record-breaking temperatures across Arizona over the next few days. The first of the record temperatures came Wednesday in Flagstaff when the high hit 62, and meteorologist Hector Vasquez of the National Weather Service said more are on the way, including here in Phoenix on Friday.

"The record is 85, so we’ll tie a record tomorrow, if the forecast pans out and then Saturday, it looks like we’ll exceed the record. The record is 83, and we’re forecasting 88," said Vasquez.

Vasquez said it has been an unusual winter so far, but he attributes the heat in the West to the thickness of the atmosphere. He said the thickness of the atmosphere is proportional to the surface temperature, and Vasquez said we will likely get a break from the high temperatures after Tuesday, when a series of Pacific low pressure systems moves in.

Updated 2/13/2014 1:44 p.m.