Phoenix broke a daily high-temperature record for the second day in a row on Wednesday, as the city experienced a scalding hot 114 degree day, four degrees above the previous record of 110 degrees in 2007.
The records come as the average temperatures in Phoenix have also risen in recent years; the average summertime temperatures in the city have increased from 93.6 degrees during the years 1999-2008 to more than 94.4 degrees over the past 10 years, according to National Weather Service data.
This decade has seen 33 records set for daily high temperatures in Phoenix, far more than in any previous decade in recorded history, the Arizona Republic reports. Records for high minimum temperatures have also been set 44 times since 2010.
The increasing heat has been linked to climate change by many scientists.
“There’s no doubt climate change is happening. We see this reflected in the temperature records. It’s getting warmer. Our heat season is getting warmer,” said Paul Iñiguez, science and operations officer at the National Weather Service in Phoenix.
Other contributing factors include Phoenix’s urban-heat-island effect: much of the city is paved over with concrete and asphalt, both of which soak up heat from the sun and emit it at night, raising the city’s temperatures.
Iñiguez also told the Arizona Republic that the record temperatures hurt people’s pocketbooks, since they have to run their air conditioners more.
Extreme heat is also deadly; 182 people suffered heat-associated deaths in Maricopa County 2018, breaking a record set in 2017.
The National Weather Service advised people in the Valley to stay indoors on Thursday and to double-check the back seat of their cars to avoid leaving children or pets inside, the Arizona Republic reported.
The city saw something of a break today, when the high was only 108 degrees, five degrees below the record of 113, which was set in 2011.