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

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Snow in Sedona

Bell Rock in Sedona, Arizona (Credit: Alexey Stiop, 123rf.com)

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - 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. 

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.

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

This is Fire Station No. 5 in Lake Havasu, Arizona, where the hottest temperature in Arizona was recorded. (Source: Google Maps)

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.

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

Hawley Lake Arizona view in the summer. (Source: White Mountain Apache Tribe)

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.

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

Here's the math on the Fahrenheit to Celsius Conversion. Great trivia for the kids!

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.

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