115 degrees: Snowball’s chances still poor - East Valley Tribune: News

115 degrees: Snowball’s chances still poor

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Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2009 10:12 pm | Updated: 1:23 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

With a heat wave causing an around-the-clock ordeal outside, it’s a wonder that so many across the Valley are venturing outdoors. A conservatively reported 5,000 people — likely more — visited a regional attraction at the Phoenix Zoo Saturday that boasted more than 60 tons of processed snow.

Slideshow: Winter in July

With a heat wave causing an around-the-clock ordeal outside, it’s a wonder that so many across the Valley are venturing outdoors. A conservatively reported 5,000 people — likely more — visited a regional attraction at the Phoenix Zoo Saturday that boasted more than 60 tons of processed snow.

Slideshow: Winter in July

With reports of elephants tossing snowballs and primates eating ice pops spreading across the Valley, it was no wonder that the zoo’s parking lot was packed by late morning despite the scorching heat of the day.

The National Weather Service’s Phoenix office reported the high temperature of the day reached 115 degrees. The weather service reported that the second week of July in Phoenix had an average temperature of 100 degrees.

There were no reports of heat-related injuries by Saturday afternoon, according to local law enforcement.

Following one of the warmest nights in Valley history, the weather service has declared an excessive heat warning effective through Sunday .

Despite the heat, the weather service is predicting a slight chance of monsoon activity in the Valley over the next few days, but the best chance for activity will be over Arizona’s higher terrain.

As of Saturday afternoon, storms that had built up over the Mogollon Rim were moving southwest toward the Valley.

These triggered severe thunderstorm warnings for areas near Globe and Superior.

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said damaging winds potentially could reach the Valley.

Because of the heat reacting with airborne pollutants, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issued an ozone health watch for the weekend. That means the level of ozone is expected to approach but not exceed federal standards. In the latter case, ADEQ released a high pollution advisory.

Recently, the Valley has also boasted its highest low temperature.

On Friday, the low was 93 degrees. Not only did this tie the daily record for warmest minimum (previously reached in 2003 and 2005), it also tied for the seventh-hottest low in Phoenix’s recorded climatological history, which goes back about 120 years.

The Valley’s all-time warmest low temperature is 96, set on July 15, 2003.

At this time of year, the highs usually are around 107 and the lows about 83.

But the blistery sun over the Phoenix Zoo left the heat hovering at 115 degrees — smashing the average high temperature for this time of year.

And even with tons of snow somewhat cooling the animals and guests in the park, it was still hot.

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