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How Does Excessive Heat Affect Arizona?

Sheri Sperry June 16, 2019

Excessive Heat for Sedona Arizona is above 110º 

Excessive Heat Affects Arizona Airports (See more below)

Sedona has about 23 to 26 days a year with temperatures at 100º or more. So far this year Sedona has had 8 days over 100º, normally by now, we have had 18-20 days ≥ 100º. We have to remember that most people who come to Sedona, are not familiar with the heat and lack of humidity and don’t realize the toll it can take.  This also goes for real estate clients.


How Does Exessive Heat Affect Real Estate Clients?

Realtors have to be very careful making sure clients stay hydrated while viewing homes out in the field on days that have extreme heat. 

  • Explain our heat to out-of-state buyers so they can monitor themselves.
  • Remember, low humidity gives us a false sense that we are OK. 
    • Perspiration evaporates quickly making us feel cool yet dehydrating at a higher rate.
  • Make sure you monitor your clients to see they stay hydrated. 
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Bring a cooler with plenty of ice and bottles of water.
  • Stay away from drinking alcoholic and sugary beverages.
  • Keep hand towels available that can be dipped in some water to cool you down. There are cooling towels you can buy.
  • Keep viewings to a reasonable amount. Take breaks and lunch if a full day is planned.
  • Make sure homes have the AC turned on prior to viewing.
  • Stay in the shade as much as possible
  • Keep a couple of shade umbrellas handy for fair-skin buyers 
  • Have discussions about homes in your car with AC turned on! 


For Those Who Travel In and Out of Phoenix (PHX)

If Temperatures exceed 115º at Sky Harbor (PHX) Airlines Become Concerned

Airlines that fly out of PHX may end up issuing an alert to its customers for any who have tickets during an extreme heat weather event. Usually, this will occur between 3 PM and 6 PM.  Airlines generally will allow the customer to change their departure without any charge.  This is because there is no guarantee that aircraft will be able to take off because of the excessive heat. There are some aircraft that cannot operate or fly when runway temps reach 118º.  If you have a departure leaving Mesa Airport, you should also check with your carrier to make sure there are no delays.

Soft Asphalt Conditions and Thin Air

Contrary to popular belief, asphalt will not “melt” at 120º, though some oil or tar may rise to the surface creating soft asphalt conditions for heavy aircraft or ground transportation. Most ramps or aprons are designed to handle the heaviest aircraft that may use it. Typically, the concrete is between 1 to 4 feet thick.  Besides soft asphalt conditions at 118º plus, planes and equipment can sink into asphalt! Shoe soles get hot and some will melt!  Also, certain aircraft may not be able to create enough lift to get off the runway.  The air becomes much thinner and lift becomes a real issue and it takes a lot more runway to get the aircraft wheels up!

Ground Crews

Let’s also not forget the ground crew. This is a safety issue for them as well. OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recommended that outdoor workers who are working in heat between 103º to 115º should drink at least 4 cups of water an hour but no more than 6 cups an hour … – So about every 15 minutes grab a cup of water. Try to stay out of direct sunlight.


excessive heat - hiking


If you are going to be outside:
  • Only hike in the very early morning or late evening before the sun comes up and after it goes down. 
  • Do not go on long hikes – especially hikes with elevation changes.
  • Keep plenty of water with you – use the same standard as above for workers.
  • Stay in the shade!
  • Stick to water sports when possible.

Example of an Actual Warning for Northern Arizona in 2018…

NOTE: I understand that the National Weather Service has issued a new warning for Central and Southern Arizona taking the time out to Saturday!

National Weather Service reports…

... Excessive heat warning remains in effect until 8 PM MST

* affected area... northern Gila County, Yavapai County valleys 
  and basins, Oak Creek and Sycamore canyons, Marble and Glen 

* Temperature... mid 90s near 6500 feet, 112 to 116 degrees in 
  the lowest valleys. Hottest days Tuesday and Wednesday. 

* Impacts... a prolonged period of hot temperatures is expected 
  and will significantly increase the potential for heat related 
  illness. Those without access to adequate air conditioning and 
  hydration will be most at risk. 

Precautionary/preparedness actions... 

An excessive heat warning means that a prolonged period of
dangerously hot temperatures will occur. The hot temperatures
will create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are
likely. Drink plenty of fluids... stay in an air-conditioned room
if possible... stay out of the sun... and check up on relatives and

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When
possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or
evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat
stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when
possible and drink plenty of water.


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