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Phoenix flights canceled because of heat

21 June 2017

Phoenix tied the daily record on Monday, reaching 118 degrees at about 4 p.m.

The canceled flights are part of the airline's regional flight system, and are operated by other carriers that use Bombardier aircraft which are not permitted to fly when temperatures exceed 118 degrees, American said.

American Airlines added that the National Weather Service forcast for Wednesday (21 June) put the highest temperature below the CRJ's maximum operating temperature.

The American Eagle regional flights effected include those in Flagstaff, Yuma and Tucson. As a result, every flight between 3 and 6:00 p.m. local time using that aircraft was grounded.

American canceled more than four dozen flights in and out of Phoenix Monday due to operational concerns over extremely high temperatures.

That would be 2 degrees shy of the all-time hottest recorded temperature in Phoenix set in 1990.

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High temperatures also are deadly.

The state Department of Health Services says almost 2,000 people visit Arizona emergency rooms every year because of heat-related illnesses.

Arizona has been experiencing extreme heat lately, even when compared to usual weather conditions in the state in late June.

"We are used to 100 to 110 degrees, but once it gets this much above average, it poses a threat to people", Hernandez says.

People with gastrointestinal issues may not be able to absorb fluid and electrolytes well.

Phoenix is no stranger to heat, but the sweltering temperatures have gotten so bad that it's making it tough for some people to leave. This current heat wave looks like it'll bring the fourth-hottest day on record for America's hottest city. "They don't have the knowledge to even seek out resources, to obtain water or shelter or the respite that they need".

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With cooling and hydration stations in full swing across the region, hundreds flocked to Grace Lutheran Church in Phoenix for water and refuge. When it comes to extreme heat, Arizona is one of the many states at risk.

"The heat at the surface causes a wind pattern that starts to draw moisture up from the Gulf of California and from the Pacific Ocean", he said.

"Extremely high temperatures are a little unusual for northern Arizona", said Coconino County's Deputy Chief Health Officer Mike Oxtoby.

While the heat wave this week in the West has not been specifically attributed to climate change, it's probably safe to say background warming is playing a role and the impacts we're seeing will only become more pronounced in the future.

'As air warms up, it expands and there's fewer molecules to be under your wing, ' said Lou McNally, professor of applied meteorology at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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