81 degrees today: What a change in one week - New York News

81 degrees today: What a change in one week

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PHOENIX -

What a difference a week makes. Last Tuesday, temperatures in the valley were so cold, pools were freezing over, allowing people to play hockey.

After parts of Arizona shivered through record nighttime lows, record high temperatures are expected this week.

Tuesday's high for the Phoenix metropolitan area hit 81 degrees. That tops the all-time high for that date, which was 78 degrees in 1994.

The high Wednesday for the Phoenix area is projected at 82 degrees, which would be another record. It's expected to hit 79 Thursday, close to the all-time high for that date.

Even though the cold is gone, valley citrus growers are still feeling the effects of the valley's big chill. The crop took a beating during the recent cold snap.

"I would say right now we have lost probably a third of the fruit and that is before we have assessed each individual grove," says Linden Fish of Citrus Heights Farms.

Citrus Heights irrigated its 20,000 trees, hoping the water would help raise the temperature inside the trees a crucial degree or two.

But the freeze ruined fruit on some 7,000 trees.

"What you look at it is how it dries out, the membrane just starts to peel away from the orange. On a good orange it would not do this, it would be juicy, this is rubberized and it has gone bad," says Jay James. "Too bad, we had a good crop, and we lost a lot of it but we fought it as hard as we could."

Citrus Heights is now focusing on the beautiful oranges it still has, and hoping the freezing weather does not come back.

The cash value of the lost crop is about $150,000.

In Flagstaff and other parts of northern Arizona, it will be in the 50s through Wednesday with daytime highs 5 to 10 degrees above normal.

Weather Service officials say it'll be within a few degrees of record levels at some of the lower elevation areas, including Prescott and Cottonwood.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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