Phoenix Braces For Extreme Heat Wave

By Claire Caulfield
Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 8:53am
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 9:10am

Audio icon Download mp3 (1.68 MB)

sun rises over downtown Phoenix
The sun rises over downtown Phoenix on July 23, 2018.

The forecast for Tuesday is forecast for 117 — and Phoenix utilities and city officials are preparing for the worst.

Phoenix city officials have been handing out visors and fans to downtown commuters, and the Salvation Army has over a dozen “hydration stations” across the city to provide drinking water to homeless populations.  

Arizona Public Service, Arizona’s largest electricity provider, says these extreme temperatures are a big test for their grid.

“Our peak day is our Super Bowl: the day you train for not only months in advance but years in advance,” said Annie De Draw with APS.

De Graw said they’ve been focusing on “system redundancy” in hopes that if one line goes down, there’s an immediate backup. Utilities are also encouraging customers to avoid using large appliances or touching the thermostat between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“This alone can help you save 2 to 3 percent on your energy bills,” she said.

While temperatures around 110 are expected, said National Weather Service meteorologist Travis Wilson, this heat wave is still dangerous.

“So currently the normals for this time of year is right around 106, so we will be a good ten degrees above average,” he said. “Really heat of this magnitude has not been observed yet this summer.”  

The forecast for this summer is slightly above last year’s temperatures, and Maricopa County officials say in 2017 heat stroke and heat exhaustion killed 155 people.

graphic of hottest phoenix days
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ

If you like this story, Donate Now!