Hottest day of the year arrives earlier than usual

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- We're used to hot weather in the Valley, but today will be the hottest day of the year -- so far.

Temperatures are supposed to reach 112 in Phoenix, with northwest areas like Surprise and Peoria potentially climbing to 114. It doesn't usually get this hot until the end of June.

An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Maricopa County will be enforcing a "No Burn Day".

There is also a High Pollution Advisory, with the highest ozone concentration expected in the East Valley. You can reduce your impact by refueling your car after dark and not using any gas-powered equipment.

“We hope that Valley commuters and all residents will take action this summer to help reduce ozone by trying transit, seeking out a vanpool or finding a carpool partner,” Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta said. “Any activity to reduce emissions will make a big difference when we all combine our efforts.”

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality also says you can help by delaying outdoor chores like painting projects and leaf blowing.

According to the National Weather Service, heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the nation, with about 30 to 50 Arizonans dying from excessive exposure to heat. Be sure to keep your children cool, particularly infants. Since they're smaller than adults, they heat up at a faster rate. Pets should also be kept sheltered and hydrated.

Hydration stations, sponsored by the Salvation Army, are set up across the valley. Booths are set up with free bottles of water, sunscreen, and hats.

"We come out when they declare heat emergencies," said Brent Babb, a Salvation Army volunteer. "Anyone is welcome to it, but it's targeted at the homeless."

They seek donations all summer, which can be given at any Safeway.

Meanwhile, we have two 300-pound blocks of ice outside the news station. How long will it take to melt in today's heat? You can watch the progress here.