The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning until 9 PM MST on Sunday. As of 10 AM local time, the temperature was a balmy 104 degrees with a high of 120 degrees before the day is over. The scorching heatwave is so blistering that airplanes can’t fly. No really. They literally can’t fly and there have been several canceled flights.
American Airlines issued a statement where they said that their American Eagle regional flights use the smaller sized Bombardier CRJ aircraft, which has a maximum operating temperature of 118 degrees, so in anticipation, they had to cancel nearly 50 flights. American Airlines added in their press release that larger Boeing and Airbus airliners that fly out of Sky Harbor have higher maximum operating temperatures of up to 127 degrees.
The reason that heat can be detrimental to airplanes is that it can affect the liftoff. Hot air is less dense than cold air, and when temperatures get as hot as they are in Arizona, the thinner air makes it more difficult for the plane to take off. The plane can still take off, but it may require a longer runway for the airliner to get off the ground.
The customers that were affected by the canceled flights should contact American Airlines for rebooking options or to request a refund. So far no other airlines have reported cancellations.
The record-high temperature in Phoenix came on June 26, 1990, when the city reached a searing 122 degrees. On that day as well there were some airplanes that were grounded due to the unbearable heat.
There are people literally frying eggs outside with the blazing sun in Arizona.
It is summer, so you should expect that it is going to be hot as balls out. Most of us shouldn’t complain, except those in Arizona get a pass since it is hotter than the taint of Satan wearing sweatpants.