Arizona’s blistering heat is back, and it’s breaking records.
On Friday, it was 106 degrees, beating the 105-degree record on that date in 1967. Saturday’s high reached 109, surpassing 2003's record of 107 degrees, and today, the National Weather Service expects temperatures to reach 112, which would top the 109-degree record of 2000.
The hot weather, combined with low humidity and other factors, caused the the weather service in Phoenix to issue an excessive-heat warning on Friday, its first of the year, said forecaster Dennis Sturm.
Sturm said the excessiveheat advisory will continue through Monday, when the temperature is expected to hit 112, but likely will be over by Tuesday, when the Valley should "cool down" to 108 degrees.
Sturm said the warnings are issued so people know to be careful outside.
And in Arizona, where the state Department of Health Services reported 570 deaths from exposure to heat from 1992 to 2002, being careful could save lives.
Dr. Vince Marino, director of emergency medicine at the Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn hospital, said he has treated heat exhaustion and heat stroke dozens of times.
The worst case he remembers was a young patient whose temperature was 108 degrees. The patient died 12 hours later.
"People don’t really know how quickly they can get dehydrated," he said. "And the quicker you get dehydrated and the more exposed you are to the heat . . . you have a higher chance of dying."
In the past two days alone, Rural/Metro Fire Department has responded to 10 calls concerning heat-related illness in the Scottsdale area.
Mary Cameli, a spokeswoman with the Mesa Fire Department, said the department cannot track its calls specific to heatrelated illnesses, but said there have been at least two in the past two days.
On Saturday, crews responded to a motorcyclist who experienced heat exhaustion after getting caught in traffic on westbound U.S. 60 near Val Vista Drive. Traffic was diverted off the freeway for construction and the rider was not prepared for long-term heat exposure, Cameli said.
Others in the Valley tried to avoid spending too much time in the sun.
Scott Duncan of Gilbert was standing in line Saturday to buy a ticket to "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith" at a Gilbert theater.
"It’s too hot outside," said the 17-year-old. "I just want to stay inside and be lazy."
Andy Miller of Denver was at the Sugar Bowl ice cream parlor and restaurant in downtown Scottsdale with his family Saturday.
"We didn’t think it’d be this hot this soon," said the 34-yearold, who was eating strawberry ice cream. "We’re staying in the shade and walking slowly."