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More People, More Concrete, and More Heat in Phoenix

An 'urban heat island' effect, fed by the city's growth, is trapping heat and making temperatures soar.

In part because of heavy growth – particularly in the Phoenix metro area – heat is being reflected, trapped, and absorbed in concrete, rooftops, and a maze of buildings that blocks wind. At the same time, there's little vegetation to absorb the heat, and high energy usage generates more.

It's called the "urban heat-island effect," and whatever the impact of global warming here, this phenomenon is sending the mercury rising. On Tuesday, Phoenix tied the all-time record of 28 days at 110 degrees or greater in one summer, reached in 1979 and again in 2002. If the temperature rises to 110 degrees one more day this year, Phoenix will set a record.

Full Story: More people, more concrete, and lots more heat in Phoenix

Comments

Comments

Jet Blast Factor

InnKeeper Mom

I remember back in the late 80s when a heatwave soared Phoenix temperatures above 123 degrees for several days. Airplanes could not take off from Sky Harbor Airport and our shoes stuck to the asphalt.

A common weather term in the northern states is "Wind Chill Factor". Maybe Phoenix could coin the term "Jet Blast Factor". I wonder how high the temperatures can soar now with even more concrete and asphalt.

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