Human Interest


It’s hot.

According to Silver Bear, a local weather forecaster who’s compiled years of Sedona-specific data, temperatures were two degrees hotter than normal in June.

By Greg Ruland
Larson Newspapers

It’s hot.

According to Silver Bear, a local weather forecaster who’s compiled years of Sedona-specific data, temperatures were two degrees hotter than normal in June.

So far this month, the trend continues.

The mercury topped 100 F in Sedona three out of the first four days of July, with a year-to-date high of 108 F on Independence Day, according to the National Weather Service.

“It’s a little hotter than normal,” said Gigi Misse, a 34-year Sedona resident and regular hostess at the Hitching Post Restaurant in Uptown.

“Some people complain, some do not,” Misse said. “It does have an impact on business, especially in our lovely outdoor dining area.”

Locals know enough to stay indoors during the hottest times of the day, but visitors, some who’ve planned vacations a year in advance, often try to ignore the heat and take risks, according to Rob Barth, director of Emergency Services at Verde Valley Medical Center in Cottonwood.

So far this month, at least one out-of-town visitor reported to the emergency room suffering from heat exhaustion, Barth said.

“The Sedona campus does see an increase [in emergency room visits] due to the heat. It’s usually folks here on vacation. Just because it’s hot, they’re not going to let the weather stop their vacations.” Barth said.

Lanae Fisher, a Sedona Pines Resort representative who greets visitors at the resort’s Uptown office, agreed.

“The heat doesn’t seem to affect them at all. They’re mesmerized by the red rocks,” Fisher said.

Don Holly, who regularly visits Sedona from Palm Springs, Calif., stood in the shade waiting for his family to come out of a shop Thursday morning, July 5.

“It was 123 [F] in Palm Springs when we left, so this feels fine,” Holly said.

Locals who know the risks usually take the necessary precautions.

Sedona street maintenance workers Hugo Rodriguez and Garrett Greeneltch said they beat the heat by drinking plenty of water and wearing baseball caps.

“We’re usually out in the sun six hours every day,” Rodriguez said. “You just have to keep hydrated.”

Water and baseball caps may not be enough to head off heatstroke for people unaccustomed to the climate, Barth said.

“You need a hat with a brim all the way around,” he said.

Fortified liquids like Gatorade are necessary to keep potassium levels up, Barth said. Drinking more water when electrolytes are low can just make things worse by

diluting electrolytes.

People taking diuretic medication for congestive heart failure and other conditions that call for a reduction in swelling should be especially careful.

“Stay inside during the hottest parts of the day. Take shorter hikes and stay in familiar places. This is no time to go exploring,” Barth said.

According to Silver Bear’s weather report, the average high for June was 96 F, two degrees hotter than the normal for the month.

Average lows were 10 percent hotter in June as well, Silver Bear reported.

The last measurable precipitation fell in Sedona 48 days ago on May 18.

Precipitation is 39 percent of normal for this time of year, or 5 inches less than normal, according to Silver Bear.

Normally, Sedona records 7.2 inches of precipitation through June. So far this year, only 3.17 inches has accumulated.

Fortunately, temperatures are expected to cool slightly in the next few days. There’s a 10-percent chance of rain in Sedona this weekend, Silver Bear reported.


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