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Record Heat Across the Southwest on Thursday

An October scorcher made it feel more like July across much of the Southwest on Thursday as an unseasonably mild autumn continued across the region.

Phoenix, Arizona soared to 100° on Thursday – a full 16° above the daily average of 84° – and also making it the latest 100° or above on record in the Valley of the Sun. Tucson, Arizona also smashed its previous record (94°) with a top temperature on Thursday of 97°, which also made it the city’s latest 95° or above reading on record (the previous latest was October 26th, 2001).

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The heat is being drawn in by a big ridge of high pressure across the West, allowing warm, dry air to push north as the jet stream lifts north as well. It’s part of a similar weather pattern that’s encompassed the region for much of October and the early part of autumn so far.

Denver, Colorado also set a record high on Thursday (83°), snapping its old record by a full three degrees. Salt Lake City, Utah also set a new record of 78° on Thursday, besting its previous record of 76°. These are just a small sampling of the numerous heat records set across the region on Thursday.

While temperatures are expected to cool down a tad for most of these locations on Friday and Saturday, the mercury is still expected to stay well above average for the final week of October across much of the Southwest. Little relief is in sight for the Four Corners and Great Basin region from the latest round of unseasonably mild temperatures, although readings closer to seasonable levels are expected by the middle of next week.

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For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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