Temperatures will begin to ramp up across the Southwest and South Central states starting on Sunday. Cities including Phoenix, where temperatures did not make it out of the 80s on Wednesday, will soar into triple digits by Saturday. Even Flagstaff, Arizona, a city located at an elevation of about 7,000 feet, will experience high temperatures 15-20 degrees above normal by Saturday.
AccuWeather Global Weather Center – May 12, 2022 – AccuWeather forecasters say the Southwest is about to embark on a temperature roller-coaster ride as temperatures soar 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit above normal for many locations in the coming days.
So far this week, a large swath of the southwestern United States has encountered unseasonably cool conditions, largely due to a deep southward dip in the jet stream. Places such as Death Valley, California, and Las Vegas experienced high temperatures 10-15 F below average for several days early this week. On Wednesday, Death Valley managed to hit only 78 F which is 21 degrees lower than the city’s average high of 99 F. Cities such as Chicago and Colorado Springs, Colorado, were hotter this week.
The relief from the heat will be brief, according to forecasters. The atmospheric traffic jam that has been in place since last week, bringing record-breaking heat and violent severe thunderstorms to the Central states, unseasonable warmth to the East and an abnormal chill to the West, will finally start to clear out this upcoming weekend.
The jet stream will begin to shift northward early this weekend and will leave room for heat currently trapped south of the U.S. to make its way north.
“This shift in the jet stream will allow a ‘heat dome’ to build across the Southwest this weekend and into next week,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski explained.