Tag Archives: summer 2020

Phoenix’s Summer High Temperatures: How Well Did the Climate Models Perform?


This blog has covered climate change with a look at one location, Phoenix, during summer 2020. Additional examples include the extreme wildfires in parts of the West, including California where one fire spawned and EF-2 firenado; Death Valley’s historic August heat wave that culminated in a 130° high temperature (likely the highest reliably recorded temperature on record globally); several rounds of extreme heat in Europe, including the highest temperatures on record in September, the second lowest summer minimum Arctic sea ice extent on record; and, the intensification of Hurricane Laura as it crossed the Continental Shelf prior to landfall as a Category 4 hurricane.

So how well did the climate models perform? When it came to summer high temperatures in Phoenix—summer being measured by the June 1-August 31 period—the climate models were very accurate in describing the 2011-2020 decade.

Summer (June-August) High Temperatures: Modeled vs. Actual: