Record-breaking hot spells earlier this year pushed several cities in Coconino County to record some of their hottest summers ever, according to the National Weather Service.
Flagstaff, Winslow and Page each had summers that were among the hottest on record, with Page recording the hottest summer in the city for the second year in a row.
Page’s highest temperature this summer was 108 degrees Fahrenheit in June, which was only one degree cooler than the record temperature of 109. However despite not reaching single-day record-breaking temperatures, Page experienced two, week-long streaks of consecutive days over 100 degrees.
In June Page experienced nine consecutive days of temperatures higher than a hundred degrees and another run of seven consecutive days in July.
National Weather Service Meteorologist John Suk said that these consecutive hot days helped Page break their heat record despite never reaching record temperatures.
“It was not the most extreme weather this year, but there were a bunch of really hot days in a row that made the average temperature a lot warmer,” Suk said.
Winslow also experienced record breaking weather with the fifth hottest summer on record.
The city had eight days in June and seven days in July that were consecutively over 100 degrees. Those weeks were recorded as the eighth and 14th hottest weeks of all time in Winslow.
However, Winslow also did not reach record-breaking, single-day heat, with the maximum temperature being 108 degrees, one degree lower than the record.
“Winslow was close to tying their single-day record, but just like you see with Page we had a good stretch of really hot weeks that helped bring up the average temperature,” Suk said.
Residents of Flagstaff also dealt with a hot summer, but were spared from historic temperatures.
According to the National Weather Service, Flagstaff had the 10th hottest summer on record.
The highest temperature in Flagstaff was 93 degrees this year, well short of the 97-degree record set in 1973. However, the city recorded seven consecutive days of temperatures over 90 degrees this June, second only to 11 straight days in 1990.
Flagstaff has never recorded a 100-degree day.
“It was hot, but we had enough breaks this year to not be super warm,” Suk said.
Suk said Flagstaff avoided a record-breaking summer because the heavy monsoon in July and August brought some cooling relief to the city while avoiding Page and Winslow.
“The thing with Page is being in the northern section of the state, it can be hard for the monsoonal moisture to reach the area making hotter temperatures.” Suk said. “With Winslow, you see the same thing. They don’t get that monsoonal moisture bringing relief from the heat.”
Suk says the monsoon keeps a lid on extreme heat in Flagstaff.
“The trick is when it starts to get hot in Flagstaff and we think we are going to reach 97 degrees, the monsoons kick in,” Suk said. “That cool air is enough to drop the temperature.”
That seems to be true as Flagstaff's streak of seven consecutive 90-degree days was broken by some timely rain.