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Arizona Cities Hit Record Heat In 2016

Published: Monday, January 2, 2017 - 4:04pm
Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2017 - 8:01am
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Two thousand sixteen will go down as one of the warmest years ever — and that was especially so here in the Grand Canyon State.

With an average temperature of 76.7 degrees, Phoenix and central Arizona tied for the third-warmest year on record.

At 77.2 degrees, it was the warmest year ever for Yuma, and at 72.1 degrees, Tucson tied for its warmest year on record.

But don’t be surprised. Meteorologist Chris Kuhlman of the National Weather Service in Phoenix says they were expecting this.

“It’s really not shocking at all. Most of the records have been set over the last 15 years, so overall for the state seems like we’ve been on the warming trend and especially for this past year 2016,” Kuhlman said.

While Phoenix experienced a total of 30 days with temperatures of 110 degrees or more, it was a rise in average low temperatures drove the record heat, a result of increasing urbanization.

"When you increase the amount of buildings and concrete" Kuhlman said, "that all absorbs more sunshine and helps retain the heat during the overnight hours."

And while 2016 was high on the thermometer, it was low in the rain gauge.

Sky Harbor recorded just 6.19 inches of rain, well below the normal total of 8 inches of annual precipitation. 

Warmer Than Ever; 2016 Sets Records Around Arizona