It's Too Hot to Fly in Phoenix Today
"The extreme heat forecast for Phoenix on Tuesday has caused the cancellation of 20 American Airlines flights out of Sky Harbor International Airport," reports Zachary Hansen.
"According to a statement from American Airlines, the American Eagle regional flights use the Bombardier CRJ aircraft, which has a maximum operating temperature of 118 degrees," adds Hansen. "Tuesday's forecast for Phoenix included a high of 120 degrees, and the flights that are affected were to take off between 3 and 6 p.m. MT."
There is some precedent for a heat wave that knocks out air travel in the Phoenix area—in June 1990 a record high temperature of 122 degrees "grounded some airlines for the day."
For more on the climate change science behind today's record-setting heat, Eric Holthaus writes an article for Pacific Standard that says "as far back as weather records go, it's never been this hot for this long," in Arizona. In Tucson, for instance, the city has gone seven consecutive days with temperatures above 111 degrees. According to Holthaus's take, these records won't stand for long, because the heat wave is a sure sign of humanity's growing influence on the atmosphere.