PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Let's face it: it's been unusually hot this week, but the way we're going it'll become much more common. Just how much hotter is Phoenix going to get? Well, we could be on our way to brutal temps for much more than just the summer months.

summer heat in Phoenix

File photo of the summer heat in Phoenix.

"Seventy-nine years from now, the end of the century, we could be doing 180 100-degree days a year," said meteorologist Royal Norman. That's half a year over 100 degrees. It's a prediction in a weather model Norman has been studying on the Valley's heat. He's been in metro Phoenix for 40 years and has watched this all change faster than many even know. It was a lot cooler decades ago.

"It still cooled off at night. You had temperatures in the 70s and 80s, rarely in the 90s. Now you're in the 90s every night," he said. According to the data trends, Phoenix has nearly a month more of triple-digit heat than it did just 70 years ago.

"The 100-degree weather is coming earlier and staying later," said National Weather Service Meteorologist Paul Iñiguez. Iñiguez said the triple digits used to start in May, they now start in April, and when they used to end in September, they now end in October.

Experts say they know the causes include climate change and urbanization, but there's a concerning human element to this. "Here's the scary thing, the death rate from heat is skyrocketing," said Norman.

"Last year, there was a record number of people that died from heat-related illness according to AZDHS. It was 500, which is tremendous and far more than any other weather hazard in the state," said Iñiguez.

Norman said using more solar power will be important in adapting to the changes, as well as making a plan to sustain enough water. But ready or not, the heat will continue to overstay its welcome. "There doesn't seem to be any sign of it ending anytime soon," said Norman.

 

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