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From Hot to Cold

High temperatures across the Valley beat out norms by more than 20 degrees. Still, no worries because cooler days lie ahead.

 by Jonathan J. Cooper and Jeff Mitchell
 published on Monday, March 19, 2007

HEATWAVE: English senior Jenna Schaeffer lies by the pool at her Tempe home Sunday afternoon. /issues/news/700259
Jamie Scharer / THE STATE PRESS
HEATWAVE: English senior Jenna Schaeffer lies by the pool at her Tempe home Sunday afternoon.
 

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It's still technically winter, but that didn't stop record-high, summer-like temperatures from heating up spring break in the Valley.

Some students jetted off to Mexico, Europe or the Caribbean for spring break while others escaped the heat in Tempe by turning up the air conditioning or taking a dip in the pool.

"The bikinis are out," said Joe Oliver, a political science junior who said he likes to cool off at the pool.

"I finally broke down and turned on the air conditioner yesterday," said Jana Roe, a taxation graduate student found lounging by the Student Recreation Center pool Sunday.

Roe said she doesn't mind the high temperatures - they're the price to pay for living in the desert.

"It's beautiful," she said. "I love the Southwest."

Temperatures are 20 to 25 degrees above normal, said Jayme King, weekend meteorologist for Fox 10 News in Phoenix.

"This is not typical at all," King said. "Very, very abnormal."

Temperatures late last week and over the weekend broke records on four consecutive days and were expected to do the same on Sunday, according to data from the National Weather Service.

Brittany Bourgeois, an education junior, said the high temperatures this early are surprising but nothing to complain about.

The dry heat is preferable to the humidity from Bourgeois' native Virginia, where hot weather can be "suffocating," she said.

How does she cope with the heat in Arizona?

"Breakout the sun tea," Bourgeois said.

Dealing with Arizona heat is "like a badge of honor," said Ashley Shaw, a journalism freshman.

Still, the high temperatures are surprising for March, Shaw said.

"We didn't get a chance to settle into the spring,"

Still, relief is on the way, King said. A "fairly strong" cold front is expected to move in Tuesday, pushing the warm temperatures east to relieve frigid weather there, he said.

"As that comes in, we'll probably see an increase in cloud cover and chance of showers," he said.

The front should bring temperatures back to normal in the mid-70s for the rest of the week, but temperatures will rise again to about 10 degrees above normal for the weekend, King said.

Reach the reporters at: jonathan.cooper@asu.edu or jeffrey.mitchell@asu.edu.



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