Monsoon 2017 starts as epic heat wave rolls in

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

It’s here! The official first day of monsoon 2017. And it’s riding in on a serious heat wave.

The summer storm season, which, until 2008, started with three consecutive days of an average dew point of 55 degrees or more, runs through the end of September.

[READ MORE: Monsoon season: The dew point dilemma]

During the monsoon, our famous "dry heat" gives way to higher humidities and conditions capable of spawning violent storms.

Power of 2: Monsoon 2017 Special

3TV - Thursday, June 15 @ 8 p.m. and Saturday June 24 @ 8:30 p.m.

CBS 5 - Saturday, July 1 at 4:30 p.m.

But there aren’t any storms in our short-term forecast on this, the first day of the monsoon. Rather, we’re looking at a wicked heat wave with the mercury possibly hitting the 120-degree mark early next week.

[WEATHER: 7-Day Forecast | Severe Weather Alerts]

The National Weather Service has already issued an Excessive Heat Warning for the large portion of the state starting Saturday morning. At this point, that warning will remain in effect until Wednesday evening, but that could change.

[READ MORE: It's going to be a scorcher! Heatwave headed to Phoenix]

Sure, it’s always hot in Phoenix during the late spring and summer months. It is, after all, the desert. 

But there’s nothing “normal” about the heat that’s headed our way right now. Excessive heat is dangerous, potentially deadly.

Heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in Arizona and the U.S., according to Will Humble, the director of the Division of Health Policy and Program Evaluation the University of Arizona’s Health Sciences Center. Heat kills more people than tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and wildfires -- combined.

"It’s hard to take a picture of heat so it gets less attention than things like floods, lightning, hurricanes and tropical storms," said Humble, former director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. "The Arizona heat is a lot more than a nuisance – it’s dangerous and lethal."

The temperatures we’re expecting will likely be added to the record books as some of the hottest days Phoenix has ever seen

  • 122  -  June 26, 1990 
  • 121  -  July 28, 1995
  • 120 -   June 25, 1990
  • 119  -  June 29, 2013
  • 118  -  July 2, 2011 

[READ MORE: Will we hit 122 degrees?]

With the Power of 2, 3TV and CBS 5 have you covered on all weather fronts.

[SPECIAL SECTIONS: Monsoon 2017 | Extreme Heat]

NWS: Precautionary/preparedness actions
Never leave kids or pets unattended in cars. Drink more water than usual and avoid alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. When outdoors, wear light-colored clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to keep your head and body cooler. Take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Public places with air conditioning include libraries, community centers, government buildings, malls, and special refuge stations.

Recognize the signs and symptoms of heat illness. Early symptoms include things such as headache, thirst, and muscle cramps.
Serious symptoms include weakness, skin that is cool to the touch, fast but weak pulse, nausea, and fainting. Severe symptoms include hot and red dry skin, fast and strong Pulse, sweating that has stopped, and unconsciousness. Untreated heat illness can lead to fatal heat stroke.

Stay cool, stay hydrated, stay informed.

[RELATED: Heat Safety 101]

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