Hot Topic: Surviving ‘Severe’ Phoenix Heat

PHOENIX, AZ (June 16, 2016) — Temperatures are forecast to reach 116 degrees every day during the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church next week—so attendees should probably bring a sweater.

That’s the advice from residents.

“When it gets that hot, restaurants are often uncomfortably cold because they have trouble keeping the air conditioning balanced throughout the day,” said Brad Boydston, pastor of Masterpiece Covenant Church in the southern Phoenix area.

Former resident Zanne Dailey agreed, saying, “It’s seriously necessary. Going from 115 to 68 is quite a shock!”

“I just carry the light hoodie I wear during the cold days of winter with me in the car during the summer,” Boydston said. “You do feel a bit ridiculous carrying hoodies and sweaters around in this heat but people totally know why you’re doing it.”

The meeting will be held at the Arizona Grand Resort June 23-25. Attendees arriving a couple days earlier may feel like 116 is something of a cooling trend. The National Weather Service forecasts a high of 120 degrees on Sunday and 119 degrees on Monday.

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Boydston and Dailey offered other survival tips:

1. “If you want to look like a local, carry a refillable water bottle everywhere,” Boydston said. “Drink from it often. However, Phoenix water tastes awful—kind of heavy in salt. It’s worth buying treated water—anything to encourage continual hydration.” Some places such as malls and hotels have water filling stations.

2. Don’t leave anything on the back deck of the car while it’s parked, Dailey advised. “I know a guy who left his vinyl garment bag there and it melted to his suits.”

3. If you go outside even briefly, cover your head. “This is especially important for people who are stylishly balding,” said Boydston, who fits that category.

4. “Flip-flops are acceptable attire everywhere except on the hiking trails,” Boydston said. “However, prolonged exposure to the sunlight and/or hot asphalt will melt some kinds of flips. I live in Crocs flip-flops, but I would not spend too much time standing around in a parking lot with them on.”

Dailey added, “If they’re thin, the heat can come right through and burn your feet!”

5. “Just use common sense, and the heat is no big deal,” Boydston said. “There are 4.5 million people living in greater Phoenix. Half of them will be on their rotation into San Diego during the week you’re all here and the other half will be whining about the heat. But they’ll be alive and actually having more fun than they are willing to admit.”

(Editor’s note: Boydston previously pastored a church in the Central Valley of California, where temperatures often reach 100 degrees, and served as a missionary in Guam, so what he considers “no big deal” may be a bit skewed.)




  • If you have a car, you need to get a windshield shade to block the sun from the inside of the car, or at least bring towels to cover your car seats and the steering wheel. Otherwise, except at night or early morning, when you try to get in your car you will burn yourself.

    • I remember the annual meeting I attended in Phoenix very well. After sitting all morning, I thought it was wise to divide my noon hour in thirds. 20 min. to eat the box lunch; walk for 20 min.; walk back 20 min.; return energized and ready to sit and pay attention through the afternoon. Realize this was down town Phoenix (as in tall buildings) with the sun directly over head. I window shopped my way through 20 minutes. As I turned to go back, I realized I was in real trouble. It felt as if someone had poured boiling syrup over me. It happened so fast.

      I turned into the dress shop in front of me, grabbed the first dress off the first rack, and rushed into a fitting room. I stripped down and leaned against the cool cement wall. Gradually, my peripheral vision came back and my knees quit shaking. I looked at the dress. My size. My favorite shade of blue. The least I could do was try it on for the use of their fitting room.

      How did I get back to the Convention Center? I serpentined in and out of stores all the way. So, annual meeting attendees – don’t take a walk on your noon hour! Unless you want heat stroke! It gives you no warning!!! Oh, the dress was perfect and I wore it for years.

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