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Medium-Rare Heat In The Southwest (And What That Means)

26 Jun 2013, 12:57 pm
Warm & Dry in California
Warm & Dry in California


It certainly has been hot around the desert Southwest of late… how hot, you might ask?  Well Phoenix hasn’t been below 100 degrees now since May 28th.  In their defense, the average high for today is 106 degrees.

For the month of June the city of Phoenix has averaged a high of over 107 degrees!  While people will say “it’s a dry heat,” have lived in a dry heat in Wyoming for 2 summers I can safely tell you… that is still hot.

We used the term “medium-rare” in the title, though, and you’re probably wondering why.  Well take a look at this chart below… this is a chart showing temperatures you’d need to cook different types of meat in order to reach a desired level of being cooked.


Meat Temperatures
Meat Temperatures



120-130 degree temperatures?  Are those even possible?

Well… the hottest temperature ever reliably recorded on earth took place in Death Valley, which is in California, and that happened back in 1910 (July 10th, 1910, to be exact).  They reached up to 134 degrees on that day.  If you were to leave a steak outside on that day, it’d cook to nearly medium levels, and on the high end of medium rare (now keep in mind, you’d likely want the seared edge, and most people use that to kill the external bacteria on a steak… so don’t get TOO crazy!).

Here is a link to some other heat-related records around the world:

Now, this coming weekend, we’ve got some pretty ridiculous weather in the heat department on the way.

Take a look at the forecast for Death Valley this upcoming weekend:


Death Valley Temps
Death Valley Temps


Look at that.  Approaching the 130 degree mark.  Really, that is quite unimaginable heat.



Excessive Heat
Excessive Heat

Those areas shaded in pink & red in the map above all have excessive heat warnings or watches in effect heading into the next several days, through Friday for Oklahoma – and through the weekend for California/Arizona/Nevada.

Some of those desert temperatures, even where people live, could reach 115 or higher.


Death Valley Inspires


There are all sorts of cooking-related legends in Death Valley.  Some tend to relate to cooking of eggs.  In fact, a good family friend of ours is from Berlin, Germany, and he came to hike around the U.S. – and HAD to try frying an egg on his car.

This is a video I found from Arkansas, where they cover two food types commonly tested as food to be cooked by ambient air temperatures: chicken and eggs.




How about that?  Would YOU eat that chicken, or that egg?

Stay tuned for more on the heat this upcoming weekend!

WeatherNation Meteorologist Aaron Shaffer @ashafferWNTV

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