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For 20 Weeks in 2020, This City Saw Triple-Digit Temps

Phoenix shattered a bunch of heat records this year
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2020 9:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's been a hot Arizona summer, and nowhere more so than in the state's capital. "Almost every heat record that we have here in Phoenix, we've broken this year—shattered some of those records, even," a National Weather Service meteorologist tells the Arizona Republic. One of those shattered records, per AccuWeather: On Wednesday, temperatures hit at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the 144th day this year, breaking the 143-day record set in 1989. The Washington Post notes that's the equivalent of more than 20 weeks in the triple digits, or roughly half of the year's 42 weeks to date. Thursday also exceeded 100, and Friday is expected to hit 116.

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For one 28-day period over the summer, the city didn't see a single night below 90 degrees. Based on what's been happening, the Republic has a burning question: "Will every summer in Phoenix be as hot as this year?" Although 2020 could've been a fluke, experts warn that climate change and other human-driven factors may only exacerbate things. "We're not necessarily going to be setting new records every single year, but ultimately we're moving in that direction," an Arizona State University professor and climatologist tells the paper. (Read more Phoenix stories.)

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