This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. This blog is not supported by advertising, it's supported by the generosity of my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

The worst-kept secret in Phoenix - how hot it gets


One of the things that the Chamber of Commerce doesn't like to dwell on is the heat in the summer in Phoenix, Arizona. And if you've ever lived through a Phoenix summer, you can understand. I've lived through a lot of them, and the blistering heat isn't something that I sit around with my out-of-town guests and talk about, when they visit, in January.

But the high temperatures of Phoenix in the summer are a reality. And while most of the historical documentation that I find about Phoenix doesn't really talk much about it (can you blame them?), let's face it, Phoenix gets unbearably hot in the summer.

The article above mentions the temperature getting up to 109 on June 13th, 1909. I've searched a lot in the archives of the Library of Congress for mentions of the weather in Phoenix, and haven't found much. And that's understandable - the newspaper wanted to promote Phoenix, not indicate that it unbearably hot, and besides, air conditioning wouldn't be invented for a long time!

As I write this, on June 23rd, 2015, it's already approaching 100 degrees in my backyard in Glendale (a suburb of Phoenix). Yes, in the shade. And summer has just begun! The temperatures won't start going down until September, so a lot of people will be going out of town, if they can afford it. This was also a very popular thing to do in old-time Phoenix, and as near as I can tell, only the desert rats (like me) who had to stay there did.

I enjoy history adventuring, and time traveling, and I like Phoenix. But I like being able to do it with the modern convenience of air conditioning, that's for sure!


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