Triple-digit heat headed for Prescott area
Weather forecast for Prescott this weekend: Hot and hotter still. The National Weather Service (NWS) indicates today’s temperature is expected to hit 97 degrees, rising to 99 on Sunday and 100 on Monday. The Weather Channel, however, warns of 102 degrees for Sunday and 104 on Monday.
Signs to look for as temps rise
• Thirsty: Feeling thirsty means you already are getting dehydrated. Make it a point to drink water and get out of the heat. Avoid caffeine (coffee, iced tea, soda).
• Heat cramps: Cramping, pain and spams in your abdominal muscles and legs signals loss of fluids and salt. Drink water and get inside.
• Heat exhaustion: Cool, moist, pale, flushed or red skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. However, body temperature will be near normal. Get inside right away and drink half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes until you feel better.
• Heat stroke: Your temperature spikes and can damage your brain and internal organs. Other signs include hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Call 9-1-1 immediately.
— From the Arizona Department of Health
No matter which you believe, everyone should heed the forecasts and take precautions, said Stephen Tullos, Yavapai County Community Health Services director.
“If you are not able to keep your residence cool, you should consider leaving your home for the day and staying with a friend, or head to a building that is air-conditioned until temperatures drop in the evening,” Tullos said. He suggests spending time in the public library, movie theaters, shopping malls or other community buildings. The Prescott Public Library, though, is not open on Sundays.
The Verde Valley, and other low-lying areas, are expected to approach or even exceed 108 degrees this weekend and into next week. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued an excessive heat warning for elevations below 4,000 feet in Yavapai County.
“Everyone is encouraged to share this information with others and to check on their neighbors, especially those who are elderly and live alone,” Tullos said. The elderly, babies and those with health problems are especially vulnerable.
Forecasted hot weather for Sunday through Wednesday, June 19-22, is likely to produce record-breaking temperatures. Chance of showers and thunderstorms are in the 20-30 percent range.
A record high of 100 degrees for Prescott was set on this date, June 18, in 1989. The record low was a frigid 37 degrees in 1995.
June 19’s record high temperature hit 99 in 1981; the low was 42 degrees in 1979.
For June 20, the record occurred in 1961 with a high of 101; the low was 42 in 1973.
County residents – at least in the higher elevations – may see travelers from the Valley enjoying the “cooler” weather in Prescott and surrounding areas.
Temperatures are predicted to hit 118 degrees in Phoenix on Sunday and peak at 119 degrees Monday, according to the NWS. It warns of “rare, dangerous and deadly” heat conditions. The hottest day on record in Phoenix occurred June 26, 1990, when the thermometer reached 122 degrees. Jonathan Overpeck, University of Arizona climate scientist, said people should expect heat waves like this in the future.
“We should anticipate more and more of this extreme heat, and we’re getting to feel it firsthand. It is what global warming looks and feels like,” Overpeck said.