It’s so hot in Phoenix that airplanes can’t fly

There are certain truths that accompany summer in Phoenix: Triple-digit temperatures persist well past sundown.

 It’s not considered abnormal to drive with oven mitts or ice packs in the car. And after a certain threshold, even the “it’s a dry heat” jokes cease being funny.

Usually, the hot season is met with a certain amount of pearl-clutching disbelief by people outside of Arizona. Meanwhile, locals shrug, knowing simply to stay indoors as much as possible or escape to the cooler climes of Northern Arizona.

But this week has felt different, even for seasoned desert-dwellers. As the Capital Weather Gang reported, the Southwest is experiencing its worst heat wave in decades. Excessive heat warnings have been in effect from Arizona to California and will be for the remainder of the week.

How hot has it been? On Monday, temperatures in Phoenix hit 118 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, which announced the record-tying heat against a stock image of a flaming ball of fire.

On Tuesday, Phoenix recorded its fourth-hottest day ever, reaching 119 degrees.

“At least we weren’t in Death Valley today,” NWS Phoenix said on Twitter, noting that Tuesday’s national high, in the California desert, was 127. “Still, tomorrow will be hot again … ”

On Wednesday, officially the first day of summer, the forecast for Phoenix is “sunny and hot, with a high near 117,” according to the National Weather Service.

It’s been so hot that even veteran local meteorologists are appending their tweets with #makeitstop.\

And it was so hot that dozens of flights have been canceled this week at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

American Airlines alerted its customers over the weekend, offering fee-free changes to upcoming flights that were departing or arriving at Phoenix between 3 and 6 p.m., when temperatures peak.

Monday and Tuesday, the Fort Worth-based airline canceled 50 flights in and out of Phoenix, according to American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein. Delays were expected for at least seven more flights to Sky Harbor on Tuesday, he said.

Regional flights on American Eagle were the most affected, because they use Bombardier CRJ planes that can only operate at temperatures of 118 degrees or below, Feinstein said. Flights on larger Airbus and Boeing planes were not canceled because they are able to operate at higher maximum temperatures: 127 degrees for Airbus and 126 degrees for Boeing.

Each aircraft manufacturer sets its own parameters for operating temperatures, Feinstein said.

Later Tuesday, Delta Air Lines confirmed it had canceled three regional flights that had been scheduled to depart Sky Harbor because of the excessive heat.\

The heat shows no sign of relenting soon.

Read the entire article at WashingtonPost.com