Archive for the ‘Phoenix’ Category

Captain Rick : Yesterday was a hot day in Phoenix. Besides smashing a previous daily air temp record, it set a new record of 95 F for the warmest pool temp I have ever recorded. Pool water temp closely trails the average day and night temp. SRP, the power company, registered yesterday’s average temp at a near record of 102F. We have had some very hot nights lately, with temps only dipping to the upper 80s at dawn. I am confident that those elevated low temps are what created the new high pool temp record.

Phoenix pool temps have been making a slow, steady rise over the past couple decades. I attribute that to rapidly expanding concrete and heat absorbing materials that blanket the Phoenix Valley of the Sun which spans across 100 miles of Arizona desert with an exploding population of over 4 million.

image

117 F is shy of the all time high temp record of 122 F set June 26, 1990. I missed experiencing that monumental mark. Having moved to the valley in 1996, the hottest I have experienced is the fourth place record at 119 F set on June 29, 2013. It was ‘Dry Heat’, only 2% humidity, a truly unique and wonderful experience that I recorded in a previous Atridim News Journal post complete with a photo of my thermometer at 119 F: Arizona “Dry Heat”: Phoenix set 4th hottest all-time record: 119F (48C) at 2% humidity … Where is the hottest place on earth?

Interesting ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Posts, Categories, Links and Stats are presented in Left Column

Your comment is welcome and will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for stopping by,
Captain Rick

Captain Rick: The Barrel Cactus, found in the Sonoran Desert of southwestern Arizona, can grow to beyond a meter in diameter, hold 500 liters of water and live to 100 years. Its juice is deadly, but its fruit was a food lifeline for native Americans in years of drought. Its flowers rank among the most beautiful of all.

image

I captured the above image at the Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. Click the image to visit my Flickr Photostream where you can view it full size in high definition on our HDTV or widescreen computer monitor.

About Barrel Cacti

Barrel cacti are mainly found in the Sonoran Desert in southwestern Arizona.
The barrel cactus easily reaches over a meter in height at maturity and have been known to reach 10 feet.
Barrel cacti can store 500 liters of water and live to 100 years or more.
Its ribs are numerous and pronounced, and the spines are long and can range in color from yellow to tan to red.

Small yellow flowers appear at the top of the plant only after many years.
The barrel cactus buds start to bloom in April with a bright yellow flower.
As the yellow flowers begin to wilt in early May, they turn orange in color.
A late summer desert monsoon rain can produce a late orange bloomer that continues to bloom through the end of September.

The buds mature into a small pineapple-shaped greenish fruit that is left behind as the flowers wilt away.
The bitter fruits can last a year and were collected by Native Americans as emergency food during extreme drought conditions.

Barrel cacti are one of the more dangerous plants in the desert.
Their spines can easily puncture human skin. Its has been said that a wound that draws blood could take several months to heal with antibiotics needed for some. It has also been said that liquid in the cactus can be deadly if ingested or even sniffed.

Captain Rick’s Barrel Cactus
I have a barrel cactus growing at my Arizona Oasis that is about 10 years old. Its still less than the size of a basket ball.
I have been punctured by its needles. It wasn’t pleasant, but all healed properly a week or so later.
I will pass on testing that out sniffing or tasting its cactus juice. Perhaps one day when it flowers, I will taste its fruit. I also have a Peruvian Apple Cactus that grows huge red fruits that taste sort of like a kiwi.

My barrel cactus is still too young too bloom … but when it does, I will capture the beauty of the occasion to share with the world.
Few flowers anywhere on earth can measure up to the awesome beauty of those that bloom on an Arizona barrel cactus.

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Interesting ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Photography by Atridim

Captain Rick’s Flickr Photostream

Captain Rick: June 29, 2013 was a ‘toasty day’ in Phoenix as the temp set the 4th highest ever recorded … 119F (48C). It was the warmest temp I have experienced since calling Arizona’s ‘Valley of the Sun’ home back in 1996.

At just 2% humidity, it actually was pleasant, especially in the shade. The main reason is because sweating is difficult when humidity is that low. The only way that temps can climb this high any where on earth is for the atmosphere to loose almost all humidity.

I enjoy Arizona “Dry Heat” much more than the humid heat I experienced in most other places … where the sweat flowed continually on a hot day when temps were ‘way down’ in the 90s F. I also enjoy Arizona “Dry Heat” much more than the wicked winter cold and tons of snow I have experienced in many other places in winter. I will always remember a winter day in Minnesota back in the 1970s when the temp dropped to a record low of –40F (–40C). The windows froze with ice from top to bottom. It took 3 weeks for the ice on the freeways to melt with salt. Most vehicles did not start. So, thinking back … if I am asked to rate Arizona’s “Dry Heat” on a scale of 10 … I give it a resounding 10.

image

I captured the above photo and edited it to record this and previous record high temps recorded in Phoenix.

Where is the hottest place on earth?

Many people think that the hottest place on earth is the Sahara desert in Africa. Not true. Hotter places exist in the deserts of the southwestern U.S.

After I posted the above photo on my Flickr photostream with a share to my Facebook page, I received a question from Marra Racz: “Hi Rick, what do you think of us in Lake Havasu:))?”

After a bit of research, I replied “Checking the records, I see that Lake Havasu holds the Arizona State record all time highest temp ever recorded … 128F (53C) set on June 29, 1994. That is just shy of the all time high of 134F (57C) for the US set in Death Valley, California on July 10, 1913, which is also the official world record for the hottest temp ever recorded.” I found an unofficial record in Libya of 138F (59C).

I asked Marra about her experience with the heat in Lake Havasu. She replied: "On July 1st 2001 I arrived to Lake Havasu City. The long trip from Los Angeles with all I have wore me out. The climate is cruel in summer time and summers are very long. There is no spring or autumn in Lake Havasu, just hot, hotter, hot like Hell days."

I try my best to report both sides of the story. Arizona’s “Dry Heat” is not for all. I hope Marra can find a way to ‘stay cool’ in Lake Havasu. I urge Marra to capitalize on enjoying those early morning hours … the hours I utilize for my daily 2 mile walk and 3 mile bicycle ride. They are the finest hours of my day.

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Weather: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/weather/

Captain Rick: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/captain-rick/

Phoenix: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/phoenix/

Arizona: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/arizona/

Photography by Atridim: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/photography-by-atridim/

Captain Rick: The record freeze that has gripped Arizona’s Valley of the Sun for the past 5 days is giving way to warmer temps.  It was the longest cold blast to hit the greater Phoenix area since 1978.

Having lived in the Valley since 1996, I can say with out a doubt, it was the longest, coldest streak I have witnessed here. The digital weather station at my Gilbert Oasis measured early morning lows of 27.9, 26.1, 26.2, 27.9, 30.2 (F) during the past 5 days. I have only witnessed one day colder…25.2 registered on January 15, 2007, part of a 2-day cold snap. This 5-day frigid blast far surpassed it. This was the first year my fountain froze solid. My pool water dropped to a record low of 39F, smashing the old record of 43F. I ran the pool pump all night for 5 days straight to keep the above ground plumbing from freezing, beating the old record of 2 days. I also insulated my water supply line. Unlike houses in cold climates, water supply lines in the Valley enter the house above ground, subjecting it to the rare event of freezing.

image

A desert freeze can be beautiful, but also very destructive to its plants. During my daily walk today, I was amazed at the extensive damage to the tender desert plants and trees. The fichus trees, lantana, bougainvillea, honeysuckle, bird of paradise, aloe, hibiscus and several other tender plants were severely damaged. It is the worst plant destruction I have witnessed here. I suspect I will have to prune many of my plants back to nearly nothing. I will probably loose some. Even the hardy oleanders got frost bitten badly, killing all of the flowers and buds that were in bloom. I suspect that the normal explosion of floral color and beauty in the Valley will be a bit delayed and diminished this spring.

On the bright side…temps closer to normal begin returning to the Valley of the Sun tomorrow.

image