Remembering 6-26-90: 122 degrees in Phoenix - New York News

Remembering 6-26-90: 122 degrees in Phoenix

Posted: Updated: June 26, 2013 05:07 PM
PHOENIX -

June 26, 1990 -- it's a day few long-time valley residents will ever forget.

Add up the date and you'll understand why.

23 years ago, the temperature reached 122 degrees in Phoenix.  It's the hottest day on record in the valley, but hey, it's a dry heat.

That 122 degree day came after a string of super hot days: 118, 119, 120, 121.. and all these years later, it holds a special place in people's memories.

It was hot at Sky Harbor Airport.  The heat was shimmering off the runway. But exactly 23 years ago, it was positively scorching.

Bobbie Reid works for the airport now. On that day in 1990 ...she was working for America West Airlines.

"It was extremely hot.  I was outside on the ramp in a skirt and wearing heels."

Back then, the ramp was made out of asphalt.

"It was so hot, my heels were sinking in the asphalt," she said.

While Bobbie had that sinking feeling, B.J. Weimer was on a plane about to take off to Pennsylvania.

"We get ready to pull out and they go oh, I don't think so, it is too hot, so we are not letting any flights leave until it cools down.  We were on that plane for an hour and a half."

It is kind of an urban legend in Phoenix. The airport had to shut down because it was too hot to land or take off. That actually wasn't true.

"It was simply not that it wasn't safe, it was our charts did not have performance for those high temperatures, so we were quite literally off the charts. We were off the charts and we fixed that problem the next day," said Bobbie.

Nobody expects another 122 at Sky Harbor. 118 is quite enough.

We're supposed to hit 118 and stop there -- last time I checked.

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