The Valley is in the midst of a cooling trend that could drive temperatures as low as the high 80s by early next week, experts say.
Although Tuesday topped out at 104, National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Breckenridge said it marked the beginning of cooler temperatures for the near future.
Temperatures on Monday were a near-record high of 106 degrees.
“That (Monday) was going to be pretty much the end of the heat as the week wears on because a marked cooling trend is still in the forecast here,” Breckenridge said.
“It’s going to be dropping off dramatically tomorrow (Wednesday),” he added. “We’re forecasting here for the central deserts (that we’re) going to be down into the mid-90s or so.”
Wednesday will be followed by 90 degrees on Thursday. Beginning Friday, temperatures are forecast to be on a slight uptick.
However, another low-pressure system moving in from the Pacific Ocean will likely tamp temperatures down again with about 90 degrees on Sunday and the upper 80s on Monday and Tuesday.
That system will also likely bring clouds and a slight chance of showers.
But don’t confuse any precipitation with the monsoon, which officially ends today.
“The instability in the atmosphere doesn’t look like it’s going to be there at this point. So instead of the thunder and the monsoon-type weather, it will be more what you’d see in the wintery months,” Breckenridge said.
But don’t run for sweaters just yet. Officials say there’s a good chance the Valley hasn’t seen the end of triple-digit heat, which in the past has lasted well into October.
Two groups of Valley residents anxiously awaiting the end of high heat are the homeless and the charities that help them.
Brian Simpson, spokesman for the Association of Arizona Food Banks, said the end of the summer was particularly straining for local charities as the double whammy of high heat and increasing homelessness — thanks to the recession — created a spike in demand for bottled water and shelter.
“July and August were just pretty intense,” he said.
Simpson said it’s important the public understand the end of high temperatures doesn’t mean the need goes away.
“As generous as the public has been throughout the summer, there’s always need for more,” he added.
This year’s monsoon season was the Valley’s 11th driest on record with .87 inches of rain recorded at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.