TEMPE, Ariz. – While people on the East coast are shoveling record amounts of snow, the Valley is soaking in the sunshine. But what does this unusually warm winter mean for the summer temperatures?
Many people would guess that the temperatures anticipate an extremely hot summer, but some weather experts say that winter temperatures rarely indicate what the weather will be like in the summer months.
Mark O’Malley of the National Weather Service I Phoenix says that this is the warmest winter on record for Arizona, with an average temperature of 61 degrees. February has already seen nine days of 80 degree temperatures.
O’Malley says that while these high temperatures don’t necessarily warn of an unusually hot summer, they may be a threat in another way.
"We’re very concerned about fire season in the state," he said.
The sunny weather and lack of moisture raises the risk of fire hazards, even if it doesn’t predict a more steamy summer than usual.