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At least 6 heat-related deaths in metro Phoenix so far this year

Phoenix hit 115 degrees in hottest days of 2024

By ANITA SNOW, Associated Press
Published: June 21, 2024, 8:50pm

PHOENIX — At least six people have died from heat-related causes this year so far in sizzling metro Phoenix, where the temperatures this week hit 115 degrees, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health reported this week.

Another 87 deaths are under investigation for possible heat-related causes through last Saturday, public health officials said in the most recent weekly update to its online heat surveillance information.

Phoenix hit 115 degrees on Thursday and Friday, making them the hottest days of 2024 up to now. The metro area continued to swelter through an excessive heat warning under a dome of high pressure, with some moisture and a slight cooling possible over the weekend.

A heat wave baked most of the United States on Friday, with numerous areas expected to see record-breaking temperatures.

“We might see a little rain over the next few days because there is a 30 percent chance for Phoenix,” said meteorologist Ryan Worley of the National Weather Service. “There could be a slight cool down to around 110 degrees, but temperatures should go back up next week.”

Situated in the Sonoran desert, Maricopa County saw a stunning 645 heat-related deaths last year, about 50 percent more than the 425 confirmed for 2022.

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs declared a state of emergency in 2023 after metro Phoenix experienced a 31-day streak of temperatures reaching at least 110 degrees.

Maricopa County, the hottest big metro area in the U.S., is among few jurisdictions that provide regularly updated data on heat-related deaths that can be easily accessed by the public.

The Office of the Medical Examiner in Pima County, home to Tucson, this year added a dashboard to track heat deaths there. There have been at least five heat-related deaths in Pima County.

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