Stranger Fruit

It’s hot, I tell ya, hot!

At 4pm today (i.e. 30 minutes ago), Sky Harbor Airport here in Phoenix was reporting a temperature of 117 degrees – a new daily record. It’s a mite warm here and thunderstorms are expected this evening.

We’re actually in the throes of our “monsoon” season – thirty to forty days in July and August where, if we’re lucky, we get a total rainfall of an inch and a half. Since I came here in 1994, it’s only exceeded two inches on five years and never since 1999. But there’s no global warming, I tell ya, none!


  1. #1 VisualFX
    July 21, 2006

    Good grief! All I can say is, I sure as heck am glad I live in Seattle. You can keep your 117°F. That is just no fun.

  2. #2 Tim B
    July 21, 2006

    John, You have a year on me. I moved to Phoenix in 1995. The summers here are hot but…..When I lived in Pennsylvania and New York I shoveled snow during the bad season. Here in Phoenix I host great pool parties during the bad season. Pool parties are much more enjoyable than shoveling snow. LOL

  3. #3 John Lynch
    July 21, 2006

    Pool parties are much more enjoyable than shoveling snow.

    Ain’t that the truth!

  4. #4 Bruce Thompson
    July 21, 2006

    I write to you from the inside of IDT (interior design trailer) north of Phoenix in the desert looking at the evening sky through a hole in the ceiling where the air conditioner normally sits. It reached 117 today I’m not sure if that’s a record since the power just came back on and I’ve not checked the news. The compressor on the air conditioner started making ominous noses this morning followed by intermittent failures. So I high tailed it down to the RV store for a new air conditioner. When I returned a monsoon storm hit and we clocked winds of 59 mph followed by rain and a power outage. I left the ice cream I bought on the way home in the truck and it was half melted before I remembered to put it away in the freezer with no power. Well, the old air conditioner is out, but I’m awaiting some one to show up here to help haul the new one up on the roof so I can install it. Fortunately the strong breezes are pretty good at dropping the temperatures and the hole in the ceiling helps. I think it’s below 100 now, I think I’ll sleep outside tonight.

  5. #5 Sean
    July 22, 2006

    Yesterday was bad, but June 26, 1990 was really heinous. That was the day it reached 122 degrees in Phoenix. Asphalt was sticking to people’s shoes and the airport was closed because there was doubt that the conditions would allow airplanes enough lift to get off the ground. These colorful examples of “the language of heat” are courtesy of the BBC:

    Hace un calor de mil demonios! It is hot as a thousand devils! (Spain)

    De mussen vallen van de daken. Sparrows are dropping from the rooftops. (The Netherlands)

    Da laufd da d´Soss oba. The sauce is running down (your body). (Germany)

    Tha pethanoume san ta pondikia. We’ll die like rats. and Kaei o tzitzikas. Even the grasshopper is boiling. (Greece)

    Atish dare mibare! It’s raining fire! (Iran)

    Zew gai bae la! Chicken leg is burning! (Hong Kong)

  6. #6 Alan Kellogg
    July 23, 2006

    Yesterday around here it got to 100 along the coast. The inland valleys and the desert region likely got somewhat warmer. (They have a tendency to do that.)

    Air warms up and starts to rise. This draws in outside air. From the Sea of Cortez in the case of Arizona and Imperial County in California. from the Pacific Ocean in the case of the County of San Diego. The faster the air warms up, the faster moist air can be drawn in. The short version of the tale is, expect a higher rain total for Arizona’s monsoon season this year. A larger than usual amount coming from Southern California.

    Also expect continued high temperatures, leading to power outages as systems not built for the conditions fail. This leading for calls to expand and upgrade the power grid. More power stations, more transmission lines, and a more complicated power grid. All this leading to more opportunities for catastrophic failure. Don’t expect to see any changes in building design philosophies, construction materials, or construction laws and regulations until a few years down the road. It’ll likely take a few hundred window panes popping out of window frames from the 20th or 30th floor before modernist and post-modernish architecture becomes unpopular.

    For now the high temperatures we’re experiencing is an anomaly. When it happens for 3, maybe 4 years in a row is when it becomes a trend.

    One last thing. If you live at in a desert area see about getting a cistern installed. In an emergency it could make all the difference.

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