What they don't tell you about Arizona's temperature extremes

Posted: Updated:
This is Fire Station No. 5 where the hottest temperature in Arizona was recorded. (Source: Google Maps) This is Fire Station No. 5 where the hottest temperature in Arizona was recorded. (Source: Google Maps)
This is where the current weather gauges are located in Lake Havasu, at the Public Works Facility. (Source: Google Maps) This is where the current weather gauges are located in Lake Havasu, at the Public Works Facility. (Source: Google Maps)
This is where Hawley Lake, Arizona is. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) This is where Hawley Lake, Arizona is. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Hawley Lake Arizona view in the summer. (Source: White Mountain Apache Tribe) Hawley Lake Arizona view in the summer. (Source: White Mountain Apache Tribe)
Here's the math on the Fahrenheit to Celsius Conversion. Great trivia for the kids! (Source: rapidtables.com) Here's the math on the Fahrenheit to Celsius Conversion. Great trivia for the kids! (Source: rapidtables.com)
PHOENIX (3TV) -

Pretty much everyone knows the hottest temperature recorded in Phoenix was 122 degrees on June 26, 1990.

But the hottest temperature in the state was recorded at Lake Havasu when the thermometer got to 128 degrees on June 29, 1994. Or was it the day before?

And the coldest temperature ever recorded in Arizona was at Hawley Lake at 8,200 feet in the White Mountains. It got down to -40 degrees on Jan. 7, 1971. And here’s the little secret about the hottest and coldest locations: neither weather station exists anymore.

In Lake Havasu, the “official” gauge was moved in 1999 from Fire Station No. 5, where the record was set, to the Public Works Maintenance Facility. It’s a bit farther north and a bit closer to the lake.

And they’ve never ever gotten close to the record since. 120s in Lake Havasu City were kind of a regular deal in the 1990s. But not anymore.

At Hawley Lake in the White Mountains, the weather station was abandoned in 1988. But here’s what I love about the all-time low of -40 degrees Fahrenheit.  It’s the only “number” that’s equivalent on the Fahrenheit and Celsius scale. As you know, 212 F equals 100 C, the boiling point of water, and 32 F equals 0 C, the freezing point. But check this out. -40 F equals -40 C.

That’s cool.

Back to Lake Havasu City, which is hot. There is some dispute which day the 128-degree temperature was reached. Back in the day, the fire department personnel did regular weather observations at 5 a.m. So on the morning of June 29, 1994, they reported the 128 to the National Weather Service. It was that date that stuck in the official record books. But folks in Lake Havasu will tell you it was actually June 28, 1994, when the thermometer reached the magic 128 degrees.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


  • Arizona's Family Weather BlogMore>>

  • How cold is too cold for your dog?

    How cold is too cold for your dog?

    Friday, December 8 2017 11:26 AM EST2017-12-08 16:26:20 GMT
    A coat may be a good option for some dogs, but make sure it is loose fitting and doesn't obstruct the dog's movement. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)A coat may be a good option for some dogs, but make sure it is loose fitting and doesn't obstruct the dog's movement. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    Winter is here and that can mean some seriously cold weather in Arizona! But how cold is too cold for your pet pooch?

    More >

    Winter is here and that can mean some seriously cold weather in Arizona! But how cold is too cold for your pet pooch?

    More >
  • The 103-day dry streak is concerning

    The 103-day dry streak is concerning

    Monday, December 4 2017 7:07 PM EST2017-12-05 00:07:29 GMT
    It could be awhile before Arizona sees snow or rain. (Source: mycola / 123RF Stock Photo)It could be awhile before Arizona sees snow or rain. (Source: mycola / 123RF Stock Photo)

    Dec. 4 is the 103rd day without measurable rain in Phoenix. But on top of that, the entire state has been very dry the past several months. How hard could the forecast La Nina winter be?

    More >

    Dec. 4 is the 103rd day without measurable rain in Phoenix. But on top of that, the entire state has been very dry the past several months. How hard could the forecast La Nina winter be?

    More >
  • Full circle at Arizona's Family

    Full circle at Arizona's Family

    Monday, December 4 2017 4:29 PM EST2017-12-04 21:29:39 GMT

    Seventeen years ago this month, I moved out of Arizona to start my very first broadcasting job. It was a surprise to meet my future husband at that station, and even more of a surprise to be working side-by-side again so many years later. 

    More >

    Seventeen years ago this month, I moved out of Arizona to start my very first broadcasting job. It was a surprise to meet my future husband at that station, and even more of a surprise to be working side-by-side again so many years later. 

    More >