Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Phoenix Heat Falls Off the Cliff

Summer in Phoenix lasts until some time in October. And by "summer", I mean days where the temperature is above 100F, often well above. We were above 100F 116 days this year, I think I heard on the news. It is a dry heat, and I've mentioned before that I love it. I think I was made to ride my bicycle in this heat. And I'm not going to jinx it by claiming that were done with the 100s yet: a 100F Halloween is not completely impossible to imagine here (although the record for the date is 96F so it's somewhat hard to imagine since it hasn't happened yet). 

In spite of my love for hot weather, though, just around this time each year, I begin to get excited about the few days when the temperature drops off the cliff. As far as I know, this is not an officially recognized phenomenon, more likely it's just my own combination of wishful thinking and pattern recognition, but I went ahead and made an attractive graph to help show that there may be something to it.

It is an attractive graph, no?

On Monday, the high temperature was 100F. On Thursday, it's forecast to be 77F, and the in-between days are a steady decline. According to the extended forecast, this 77F is just a bit of a tease, since were headed back up to the low to mid-90s before too long, but I do get this sense each year around this time that the heat is holding out as long as it can and then one day, BAM!, it's done, and the temperature just starts to mosey downwards from the good cycling temperature to the really good cycling temps we have from October till May. When the heat wakes back up again.

And I realize I may have what appears to be an inordinate interest in temperature, weather, actual conditions, but I'll tell you this: people who hide from the summers here inside air conditioned boxes and climate controlled compartments don't know what they're missing, while riding on my bike, I just soak it in. Soak. It. In. The air caresses my skin and infiltrates my brain so it is quite natural that a few words about current actual weather conditions sometimes appear in this space. It's one thing if you're watching video ruminations about what it's like outside everywhere from The Weather Channel (which has inaccurate statistics about average and high temperatures in Phoenix on its web site by the way, for example, stating that the highest temperature ever recorded here was 114, which makes me wonder what backyard monkey shack of a weather school they went to), and an entirely different thing if you're out riding at noon on a hot August day listening to the cicadas sing. In fact, I'm pretty sure that my body has stored up excess heat from the weeks of riding in it, and now I may be radiating it back out. That's me on the satellite, glowing red in the night. Look out world: JRA glowing through, now letting off a little steam as Autumn actually seems near.



  1. I hear you, brother! I'm waiting for a little light to ride my bike this morning, wearing arm warmers and an extra layer for the first time in months. I definately understand the focus on all things weather related. For example, the most exciting thing in my life this morning (aside from my upcoming ride), is the fact that I turned off the A/C last night and opened the windows!

    Fall weather, bring it on!

  2. Yeah! Pulled the 'bent (with the road tires) out into the driveway this morning and saw rain puddles! So I parked it and brought out the MTB with the inverted tread Serfa Drifters (no need, yet, for the full-on MTB with the Continental off-road knobbies).

    I actually rode with a long-sleeve shirt over my t-shirt. (Didn't have to button it up, though.)

  3. I am in agreement with you on the heat. I also enjoy riding in it, unless I am foolishly trying to make a workout from my ride. That is hard for me. But a nice ride in the summer? I like it! (much more than riding in the wind!)

  4. THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE: 64F this morning in Phoenix, current modelling based on this rate of decrease indicates mass glaciation by Halloween, carbon dioxide snow for Thanksgiving, and atmospheric liquification by Xmas.

  5. FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: 55F this morning in Phoenix. Arctic survival suits are being held in standby.


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