Excessive heat warning issued for Thursday

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX – With 21 days of 110-plus temperatures this year and more likely next week, Phoenix is approaching a record.

The National Weather Service has issued another excessive heat warning for Thursday, and it looks like it could be even hotter next week.

Summer in Phoenix is normally hot and dry, but the summer of 2011 has been a bit hotter and drier than normal. We’re starting to get in the below-average range in terms of monsoon rainfall. We generally see an average of 17 days of 110 degrees or hotter during the summer and we’re already well past that.

The record, 32 days, was set in 2007.

Thursday’s forecast high of 110 is one degree shy of the daily record.The average high for this time of year is 104.

The overnight low could also be a new record. It was 93 degrees at Sky Harbor International Airport at 7 a.m., three degrees warmer than the 90-degree record and about 10 degrees above the average. If we do not get any rain this evening and the temperature does not drop below 90, the low will be a record-setter.

Chances of rain Thursday are not great in the desert areas, about 20 percent, but we were in a similar situation with an extremely warm morning a few weeks ago and we got some much-needed rain, which dropped the mercury significantly.

Thursday’s excessive heat warning covers Maricopa County and the northwest portions of Pinal County. That warning it set to expire at 8 p.m.

As always, the important thing to remember during an excessive heat warning is to hydrate properly.

While things should cool down slightly for the weekend, it's going to heat back up by the middle of next week. We're looking at about 111 degrees by Wednesday.