Very Strong Ridge Of High Pressure To Challenge Record High Temperatures Over The Weekend In Phoenix, Sky Harbor Takeoff Delays Likely


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A very strong 600m upper ridge of high pressure that marks the ‘heatwave’ before the monsoon begins will develop over the the Arizona/New Mexico border by Friday.  This will push temperatures through 115F and with the weekend moving along, temperatures may even breach the 120F range.  The hottest temperature ever in Phoenix was 122 so we may get just shy of that, however this will be a record heatwave event for the days in question, just not overall.

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport will certainly need to be monitored.  If you have flights out during peak heat hours during the afternoon/evening times you will need to keep an eye out on your flight delays as a heat delay is very likely.  Usually temperatures over 117-118 means that a delay from takeoffs will take place.

The real problem with flying in hot temperatures is similar to the problem faced in high altitudes: thin air. Hotter air is less dense, which means there is less air beneath the wings for lifting the aircraft and less air to flow through the jet engines.

As for the monsoon.  These larger heatwaves usually indicate the final build of the four corners ridge as the jet stream moves way north into Canada.  It also allows for less shear in the Eastern Pacific Basin  Less shear means the development of Eastern Pacific Ocean Hurricanes will finally begin and with that happening we will see moisture push up from Mexico after Mid-July, finally showing with the full the Arizona Monsoon.

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