Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona, just for fun. Advertising-free, supported by my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

Dealing with the painful cold of Phoenix, Arizona

Since it's July, and the temperatures here in Glendale (a suburb of Phoenix) will be over 100 again (probably over 110), I'm thinking about a very common misconception about Phoenix - that it never gets cold. But believe me, it gets very cold. Painfully cold.

If you're an early riser, like me, you know that the the temperatures here in the desert plunge in the wee hours of the morning. For example, this morning at sunrise my patio was about 80 degrees. Two hours later it was 100.

However, in the winter, it's even more extreme. Temperatures can go below freezing, even down into the twenties, or teens. That's why you'll see overnight freeze warnings for plants. And freezing temperatures can be hard on human beings, too. Especially the type that the desert gets, with low humidity.

Back in the early '90s, I rode my bike to work, which was less than two miles away. And while mostly it was a pleasure, it was only the cold temperatures that stopped me, and made me decide to take my car that morning. No one ever asked me about the cold, they always asked me if it got too hot. And from that I knew that they had never been there, never done that.

Yes, it gets hot in Phoenix. I was on my bike riding home on the day Phoenix hit 122 in 1990. I remember feeling my eyes burning. I was anxious to get home. But it wasn't like the cold. And the clear blue skies of Phoenix create some very painful cold. As a kid in Minnesota, clear days that didn't have any cloud cover were very painful - we called them the "look but don't touch" days.

In December and January I tried to bundle up enough to ride to work even in sub-freezing temperatures. I got heavy gloves, and a knit beanie. And if you've ever ridden a bike in temperatures below freezing in Phoenix, you know that the wind just cuts right through you. I would have needed a parka for it to even be reasonably comfortable for me.

But this is Phoenix, and I knew that it would warm up again.

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