Phoenix saw a deadly 19th consecutive day of extreme heat on Tuesday, setting a record for American cities.
Many inhabitants were forced to stay inside in air-conditioned comfort, and the typically bustling city was reduced to a ghost town.
Even with the world experiencing extreme heat, the city’s record stretch of 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 Celsius) or higher stood out. By 3 p.m., it had risen to 117 degrees (47.2 Celsius).
According to scientists, a newly developed El Nino and human-caused climate change are working together to break global heat records.
According to weather historian Christopher Burt of the Weather Company, no other big city—defined as the 25 most populated in the US—has ever had a string of 110-degree days or 90-degree nights longer than Phoenix.
“There are impacts,” said NOAA Climate Analysis Group Director Russell Vose, who also serves as the chair of a committee on national records. “When you have several million people subjected to that sort of thermal abuse, there are impacts.
Not just the severe daytime highs are dangerous in Phoenix. People without access to air conditioning may go without the rest their bodies require at night to rejuvenate.
According to Matt Salerno of the National Weather Service, it is “pretty miserable when you don’t have any recovery overnight” because the city has experienced temperatures that haven’t dropped below 90 for nine days straight, breaking another record.
The city also recorded the warmest overnight low temperature on Monday: 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). During the day, the temperature rose so quickly that it reached 110 degrees in the city a few minutes before noon.
In order to protect performers and attendees, dog parks were deserted by mid-morning, and evening concerts and other outdoor activities were postponed.
Over the weekend, the city’s Desert Botanical Garden, a sizable outdoor collection of cacti and other desert plants, started closing.