Poster Session P1.31 Heat waves in a hot place: Examination of intense heat episodes in the Phoenix Arizona metropolitan area during July 2003-2005-2006

Monday, 25 June 2007
Summit C (The Yarrow Resort Hotel and Conference Center)
G. Douglas Green, NOAA/NWS, Phoenix, AZ

Handout (233.0 kB)

Periods of intense heat (heat waves) affected southwest and south-central Arizona, including the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area, during July 2003, July 2005 and July 2006. Numerous record high maximum and minimum temperatures were established at Phoenix, especially during the 14-day period 12-25 July: record high minimum temperatures were tied or broken on 13 days, while record high maximum temperatures were tied or broken on 8 days.

This paper will compare and contrast key synoptic and thermodynamic features associated with the periods of intense heat which occurred during July 2003, 2005 and 2006. The intense heat of July 2003 and July 2005 occurred in conjunction with the late arrival of moist monsoonal flow to the desert southwest, while the intense heat of July 2006 occurred during a "break" in an earlier-than-normal arrival of moist monsoonal flow to the desert southwest. Synoptic and thermodynamic characteristics associated with periods of intense heat in July 1995 and June 1990 will be presented for comparison purposes.

WFO Phoenix's methodology for issuing various heat-related products (High Heat Warning, High Heat Watch and Heat Advisory) for the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area will be described, and an overview of heat-related products issued prior to and during these periods of intense heat will be reviewed.

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