The Hottest Day in Mesa: A Record-Breaking Heat Wave of 1990
The sun beats down mercilessly on the sprawling desert city of Mesa, Arizona, with temperatures regularly reaching into the triple digits during the summer months. But on June 26, 1990, the heat reached unprecedented levels.
The Origin of Mesa’s Heat Wave
Mesa, Arizona, is located in the desert Southwest, with a dry, arid climate characterized by long, hot summers and mild winters. While heat waves are a common occurrence in this region, the record-breaking heat of 1990 was caused by a combination of factors, including high-pressure air masses, low humidity levels, and a lack of cloud cover.
As the sun rose over Mesa that morning, temperatures quickly rose, with the mercury reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit by mid-morning. By noon, the temperature had skyrocketed to 115 degrees, and it continued on an upward trajectory throughout the afternoon.
The Impact of the Heat Wave
The record-breaking heat of 1990 had a significant impact on Mesa, both in terms of the physical damage caused by the high temperatures and the toll it took on the city’s residents.
In addition to the power outages and highway closures caused by the heat, hospitals reported a surge in heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heatstroke. As the temperature remained above 100 degrees for days on end, schools and businesses were forced to close, and the city’s residents hunkered down in their air-conditioned homes to escape the scorching heat.
Breaking Records and Moving Forward
The record-breaking heat of 1990 may have been a harrowing experience for the residents of Mesa, but it also served as a reminder of the resilience and determination of the human spirit. Despite facing extreme conditions, the people of Mesa refused to be defeated by the heat, coming together to support one another and break through the record books in the process.
As temperatures continue to rise around the world due to climate change, it’s more important than ever to recognize the impact of extreme heat on our communities and take steps to prepare for it. The heat wave of 1990 remains a powerful reminder of the importance of coming together in times of crisis, and of the human ability to overcome even the most daunting challenges.