Phoenix weather: Confidence is high; near record heat is coming

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- In their forecast discussion for Arizona, the National Weather Service Office in Phoenix says "confidence is high” for a big heat-up at the end of this week. Right now, it looks like highs for the Valley will be in the 115-to 118-degree range Friday through Sunday. Those are near record temperatures, for sure, but the other concern is the duration of this coming heatwave. It's possible that we'll see highs in the "one-teens" (113+) for five straight days beginning Thursday.

How hot is that? In the entire history of weather records in Phoenix, which goes back to 1896, we've only had 11 days where the temperature has reached 118 or more.

As many of you know, the record for Phoenix is 122. That goes back to June 16, 1990. However, since that time the official temperature gauge has been moved a couple of times at the airport. Right now, the official thermometer resides along the southern reaches of Sky Harbor where, we've noticed over the years, we don't see as many "super-hot" days.

So while we don't think we'll make a run at the all-time record, it appears we're headed toward a heatwave like we haven't seen in years.  Last year, we had a weeklong heatwave in August. The hottest temperature that week was 116.