By Carson Mlnarik
You may break a sweat walking to class in August, but by October, it’s all short sleeves and cool breeze. Real Arizonans know that the heat doesn’t hit hard till May, where it stays in full, dehydrating madness until the end of July. Just how hot does it get – and is there anything you can do to escape it? We’ve got a few cool facts that might help you cool down… no guarantees, though!
The highest recorded temperature in Arizona history was 128 degrees in Lake Havasu City, but Phoenix follows close behind with a record 122 degrees in June 1990. Here’s to hoping this summer is not one for the books…
10. DIY tattoos
Ever wanted Abraham Lincoln’s face on your inner thigh? Leave a penny sitting heads-up on the car seat for a few hours, pop a squat and voila! You’ve got the 16th president burned in your skin for the world to see. Use a silver dollar at your own risk.
9. Fear your beer
It’s a tough one: bottle or can? No one wants a warm brew and thankfully, scientists were dedicated to finding an answer. One investigation found aluminum cans cool at the same rate as bottles; however, cans stay colder longer in the cooler and bottles stay colder longer in hand.
8. Dashboard delight
Stuck at work with a hankering for something sweet? Grab some pre-made cookie dough, a baking tray and let your unshaded spot in the parking lot do the work. We recommend removing any air fresheners during the baking process – the last thing you need is chemicals served on the side of salmonella.
7. …yes, that’s what it’s called
Ever seen a haboob? Phoenix is one of the few cities in the world, alongside places like the Sahara Desert and Mars, to experience these intense dust storms carried by atmospheric gravity currents, generally after thunderstorms.
6. Literally dead
The heat is known to do tricky things to Valley vehicles, including zapping car batteries. If your battery is three or more years old, you might want to consider having it checked… or start practicing superstitions every morning.
5. Happy hours for hydration
A number of fast food faves offer discounted soft drinks or Slurpees to reward those brave enough to leave the house. McDonalds and Taco Bell offer $1 soft drinks for people patient enough for the drive thru, while Sonic discounts slushies and sodas by 50 percent from 2 to 4 p.m. during the week.
4. Nocturnal animals
If 100-plus temperatures are interfering with your busy life, try taking after the habits of furry friends like hedgehogs, owls and foxes and go nocturnal. Arizona summers can bless us with temperatures in the mid-70s… if you’re awake from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.
3. Screen your sunscreen
A cute label or handy aerosol can might seem like the make-or-break, but the most important part of a sunscreen is its SPF, or sun protection factor. Experts recommend a minimum of 30 SPF if you’re looking to get some color and a maximum of 50 for full effectiveness.
2. Be careful
While many residents laugh the summers off as a “dry heat,” it’s not completely a laughing matter. In 2016, 130 people died of heat-related causes in Maricopa County, the highest number in a decade.
1. You’ve been warned
Arizona is so notoriously hot that the Department of Transportation has a page dedicated to “Extreme Heat.” Its best pieces of advice? Drink water and STAY INSIDE.